Once a Jolly Swagman was, for its time, a rather unusual film. Why? Because it featured Speedway Racing. Speedway in the pre-war days of the 1930s was brought over from Australia, a type of Dirt track racing. Stadiums used for greyhound races were adapted, shale put down and the sport took off in a big way. Wembley Stadium had over 100,000 people there to watch the England team against the Australians in the years following the war. So, the film was made, and was a success. Up and coming young actor Dirk Bogarde, and the wily young Bill Owen ( who went on to become famous in the British TV programme, The Last Of The Summer Wine) starred in it. The title? Well to answer Mr Kennett ( the only other person to comment wryly on this film) is because the sport originated down under, although I suspect Mr Kennett to be one of the famous Kennett brothers; Speedway Riders Themselves in the 1950s and 60s. Comment: Excellent British attempt to bring the sport to the film going public. 10 out of 10. August 2004.
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