Kangaroo which is the title of this first Hollywood production shot in Australia has this title if for no other reason than to give the movie-going public an identifiable Aussie image. It could have been entitled duck billed platypus and I wish they'd featured one or two of those in the film. As it was there weren't all that many kangaroos to see.
Maureen O'Hara actually fought to get into this film according to her memoirs and then regretted it. She liked the original script as a straightforward Aussie western and looked forward to the trip. Darryl Zanuck was going to cast his current mistress in the part, but Maureen talked him into using her.
However once she got to Australia the story was changed to include an incest angle that she found abhorrent. Part of the plot involved a pair of confidence men and robbers played by Peter Lawford and Richard Boone to lead Maureen's father Finlay Currie into believing Lawford is his long lost son. It wasn't real necessary to the story in my opinion either.
The fact that this was a first Hollywood production there and that any disharmony might have caused an international incident between the USA and Australia kept her from walking off the set. Not that there weren't problems with her co-stars, both Lawford and Boone she says treated her badly, especially after they were caught in a nasty scandal there that never saw the light of day until her memoirs.
On the other hand the scenes on the Australian outback are nicely done and when all is said and done, the film is just an average western set in the land down under.
The next Hollywood production shot there was The Sundowners and while star Robert Mitchum had his problems with the Aussie press also, The Sundowners is a light years better film than Kangaroo.
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