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Tragedy in a Temporary Town (Shell Presents)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Tragedy in a Temporary Town"
Shell Presents episode
Tragedy in a Small Town.png
Ad from SMH 25 May 1959
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 3
Directed byRod Kinnear
Teleplay byReginald Rose
Featured musicArthur Young
Original air dates16 May 1959 (Melbourne, live)[1]
30 May 1959 (Sydney, taped)
Guest appearance
Michael Pate
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Other People's Houses"
Next →
"They Were Big, They Were Blue, They Were Beautiful"
List of episodes

"Tragedy In A Temporary Town" is a 1959 episode of the Australian anthology drama show Shell Presents starring Michael Pate. It was filmed "live" in Melbourne, then recorded and broadcast in Sydney. It was the third episode of Shell Presents and the first shot in Melbourne.[2][3]

The script had originally been filmed under the same title on The Alcoa Hour in the US in 1956.


In a small town, a group of migrant workers are employed at an aircraft factory and live in a trailer park. When a girl claims she has been attacked, a group of men, led by Frank Doran, attempt to find out who is possible. They seize a Mexican boy, Raphael Infante, and threaten to lynch him. A tolerant man called Alec Beggs attempts to stop them.


  • Michael Pate as Alec Beggs
  • George Fairfax as Frank Doran
  • Paul Karo as Raphael Infante
  • Marjorie Archibald as Mrs. Fisher
  • Carol Armstrong as Dotty Fisher
  • Susan Armstrong as Inez Infanti
  • John Cousins as Repulski
  • Marcel Cugola as Julio Infante, Raphael's father
  • Earl Francis as Mickey Doran
  • John Garry as Muller
  • Frank Gatliff as Matt Fisher, the parent of the teenage girl
  • Tim Goodlett as Anderson
  • Alan Hopgood as McCarthy
  • Edward Howell as Harry Phillips
  • Bettine Kauffmann as Dolores Infante


The production starred Australian Michael Pate who was based in Hollywood from 1950 until the late 1960s. He made the film on a temporary return visit to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in late April to begin rehearsals.[4][5]

The play was shot in Melbourne.[6][7]


The TV critic for The Age called it "promising" with an "outstanding performance" from George Fairfax.[8]

The TV critic for the Woman's Weekly called the production "a tragedy all right... the play was notably unrealistic, its star, Michael Pate, disappointing... a brave and expensive experiment for a commercial channel... [but] miserable viewing."[9]

The TV critic for the Sydney Morning Herald said it "did not make its potential impact because of uninventive direction and, with the tension factor suffering accordingly, some lack of subtlety in the characterisations."[10]

See also


  1. ^ "Pate for GTV-9 Drama". The Age. 23 April 1959. p. 12.
  2. ^ "Drama Set in Caravan Park". The Age. 14 May 1959. p. 13.
  3. ^ Day, Christopher (1981). "TV Drama". In Peter Beilby (ed.). Australian TV: The First 25 Years. Thomas Nelson. p. 137.
  4. ^ "Pate Meets Cast". The Age. 30 April 1959. p. 12.
  5. ^ Lane, Richard (2000). The Golden Age of Australian Radio Drama Volume 2. National Film and Sound Archive. p. 51.
  6. ^ "Domestic Desperado". The Australian Women's Weekly. 26 (49). 13 May 1959. p. 60. Retrieved 27 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "T. V. HIGHLIGHTS". The Biz. New South Wales. 17 February 1960. p. 7. Retrieved 14 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "George Fairfax was a star of new TV drama". The Age. 21 May 1959. p. 13.
  9. ^ ""High Adventure" is aptly named". The Australian Women's Weekly. [?] (2). 17 June 1959. p. 50. Retrieved 27 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Live Drama On ATN Channel 7". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 June 1959. p. 4.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 October 2021, at 23:05
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