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The Adorable Outcast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Adorable Outcast
Directed byNorman Dawn
Written byNorman Dawn
Based onConn of the Coral Seas by Beatrice Grimshaw
Produced byNorman Dawn
StarringEdith Roberts
Edmund Burns
Walter Long
CinematographyArthur Higgins
William Trerise
Edited byMona Donaldson
Australasian Films
A Union Master World Picture
Release date
  • 25 June 1928 (1928-06-25)
Running time
7,300 feet
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Adorable Outcast is a 1928 Australian silent film directed by Norman Dawn about an adventurer who romances an island girl. The script was based on Beatrice Grimshaw's novel Conn of the Coral Seas.[2] It was one of the most expensive films made in Australia until that time, and was Dawn's follow up to For the Term of His Natural Life (1927).[3] It did not perform as well at the box office and helped cause Australasian Films to abandon feature film production.

For the American market, the film was retitled Black Cargoes of the South Seas.

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A young adventurer, Stephen Conn (Edmund Burns) is in love with an island girl, Luya (Edith Roberts). An evil blackbirder Fursey (Walter Long) kidnaps Luya to get hands on some gold, but Stephen rescues her with the help of Luya's tribe.

When it is revealed that Luya's parents were white, she and Stephen are married.[4][5]



The big-budget film was shot mostly on location in Fiji from April to June 1927, with some studio work done at Bondi Junction in Sydney.[7][8] The three leads, Edith Roberts, Edmund Burns and Walter Long, were all established Hollywood actors.[9][10] The ambitious filming schedule involved "500 war canoes and outriggers, and 2000 native warriors dancing in full war dress with clubs and spears".[11]


The film initially performed strongly at the box office but soon tailed off, and expected overseas success did not eventuate. It was estimated the combined losses of this and Norman Dawn's earlier film, For the Term of His Natural Life (1927) came to £30,000.[12]

It was released in the US as Black Cargoes of the South Seas.[13]

Fifteen minutes of the film are in the possession of Australia's National Film and Sound Archive.[14][15]


  1. ^ "CINESOUND PRODUCTIONS". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 6 August 1934. p. 5. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Australian Artists Get Chance". Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930). 22 May 1927. p. 32. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Likely to be Biggest Australian Release in 1928—" The Adorable Outcast."", Everyones., 7 (406 (14 December 1927)), Sydney: Everyones Ltd, nla.obj-578957495, retrieved 2 March 2024 – via Trove
  4. ^ Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 144.
  5. ^ "DAWN IN THE SOUTH SEAS", The Home: An Australian Quarterly, 8 (10), Sydney: Art in Australia, 1 October 1927, nla.obj-385222268, retrieved 2 March 2024 – via Trove
  6. ^ "Mr. Compton Coutts". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 4 February 1935. p. 8. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  7. ^ "MOVIE WORK IN FIJI." Sunday Times (Perth) 26 Jun 1927: 34 accessed 6 December 2011
  8. ^ "ROMANCE ISLE. FILM ACTORS IN FIJI." The Brisbane Courier (Qld) 30 Jul 1927: 11 accessed 6 December 2011
  9. ^ "CLAMOUR OF THE SOUTH SEAS." Examiner (Launceston, Tas) 23 Jul 1927: 7 accessed 6 December 2011
  10. ^ "FILM COMPANY". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 15 July 1927. p. 16. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  11. ^ "TO MAKE A MOVIE". Labor Daily (Sydney, NSW : 1924 - 1938). 2 May 1927. p. 6. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  12. ^ Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years, Currency Press, 1989 p93
  13. ^ "Why Australian Films Are Failures". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 5 October 1929. p. 14. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Title Details; Title no: 125; Title: The Adorable Outcast : Original Release". National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  15. ^ The Adorable Outcast at

External links

This page was last edited on 7 April 2024, at 16:31
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