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A real sailing ship was burned for the movie's climax. Called the Inca, it was loaded with dynamite and - sadly - nitrate film. The effect was spectacular, but countless early Australian films were lost in the blaze.
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Marion Marcus Clarke was a granddaughter of the author of the classic book on which the film was based. She was an experienced stage actress.
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At a time when an Australian film could easily be made for £1,000, this movie cost an astounding £50,000.
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Five hundred unemployed men were used to take part in the many crowd scenes, including a prison riot, convict treadmill, and human plough.
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A "cuddy", mentioned on the intertitles, is a small cabin on a boat, usually not big enough to stand up in, unlike the one portrayed in this film.
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Gabbett's escape from Port Arthur and subsequent cannibalistic behaviour is based on the story of the escape of the convict, Alexander Pearce, from Macquarie Harbour. Pearce's story has been told in two films, Van Diemen's Land (2009) and The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce (2008).
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Rex's escape on the Osprey is based on the seizure of the brig, Frederick, by ten convicts after the closure of the Macquarie Harbour penal settlement. The convicts landed their captives on the shore and then set sail. Unlike Rex who is recaptured in the film, these convicts managed to sail the Frederick to Chile.
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