Before Quigley Down Under … long before! Before World War II even, there was producer/director Hal Roach’s 1939 adventure tale of English and Irish prisoners sent Down Under to serve out their sentences in exile. Australia of the 1840s … a wild, near lawless frontier!
The film was titled Captain Fury and it starred the likes of Brian Aherne (nominated the same year for Best Supporting Actor in Juarez) as Captain Fury (an Irish rebel banished for his revolutionary ways), Victor McLaglen as the scalawag Blackie (a heart of gold, but prone to thievery and other mischief), June Lang as the lovely Jeanette (who catches Fury’s eye) and George Zucco as the evil land baron, Arnold Trist (think: Alan Rickman’s Elliot Marston character in Quigley Down Under).
Other familiar faces in this Australian story are Douglass Dumbrille as Trist’s enforcer, John Carradine as one of Fury’s fellow prisoners, Paul Lukas as Jeanette’s wishy-washy father and Charles “Ming the Merciless” Middleton as Mergon, another one of Trist’s men. An entirely English and American cast starring in an Australian frontier saga that was film on location in … Malibu and Chatsworth!!!
Word arrived this week that the wait is finally over for this Hal Roach’s Oscar-nominated Captain Fury (for Best Art Direction) as it will be making its DVD debut on Aug. 1 courtesy of VCI Entertainment!