Paul Withington, Clifton Childs

Commento: Lowell Thomas. Mu.: Carl Edowarde. M.: Nathan C. Braunstein. Su.: Thornton P. DeWhirst, George L. Crapp. Dir. Prod.: Ralph P. King, Lewis J. Wilson. Prod.: the North Western Australian Expedition Syndacate con la collaborazione del National Rechearch Council of Australia. Presentato da William M. Pizor. Dist.: Imperial Distributing Corp. e Columbia Pictures Corp; 35mm. L.: 2004 m. D.: 73’ a 24 f/s. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Lowell Thomas, Paul Withington, of Harvard University, and Clifton Childs, an archaeologist, gather to recount their trip to Australia. Using information from Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn’s book Men of the Old Stone Age, Thomas gives an account of how archaeologists have come to believe that skeletons found in caves around the world are from Middle Paleolithic man. The purpose of the expedition is to determine if any remnant of Neanderthal man exists today.

The American Film Institute Catalog

The origins of this film deserve a study in themselves. In 1929, Paul Withington, anthropology professor at Harvard, and Clifford Childs, Australian archeologist, organized an expedition to the Australian Aboriginal territories. On their way, they filmed a number of documents. The material was then submitted to William Pizor, an independent producer/distributor and director of the Imperial Distributing Corp, who had distributed several Z series westerns, but specialized, with the aid of editor Nathan C. Braunstein, in production of feature length documentaries. We’ll probably never know to whom the overall ideation of this extremely composite film should be attributed, in which a number of extraordinary documents are placed right next to absolutely unreliable sequences as if nothing were the matter. It remains, however, a sincere testimonial, which is even more precious today as the world it focuses on has completely deteriorated. This print contains two sequences which are missing from the copy viewed by the curator of the American Film Institute Catalog.

Jean Marie Buchet, Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique

Copy From

Restored in 2002 from a nitrate dupe negative with subtitles