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King of the Coral Sea (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime | 24 June 1956 (USA)
Ted King, aided by Jack Janiero, is in charge of a company owned by Peter Merriman, reputed playboy, which he inherited from his father. Merriman decides to have a look at the company which... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Chips Rafferty ...
Ted King
Peter Merriman (as Charles Tingwell)
Ilma Adey ...
Rusty King
Jack Janiero
Lloyd Berrell ...
Grundy (as Reginald Lye)
Charles Peverill
Frances Chin Soon ...
Jack Assam
Salapata Sagigi
Charlie Juda


Ted King, aided by Jack Janiero, is in charge of a company owned by Peter Merriman, reputed playboy, which he inherited from his father. Merriman decides to have a look at the company which is getting shells and pearls from the ocean's bottom. King discovers a body out in the ocean and brings it in, which sets off a police investigation into the possible smuggling of undesirable aliens into the area and they ask for King's help. Merriman arrives and falls instantly for King's daughter, "Rusty." He also shows them that the use of modern equipment can streamline the operation as well as save lives, which he does for King when he is trapped under the sea. When the smugglers learn King is on their trail, they take "Rusty" hostage, but King, Jack and Merriman, with the use of Merriman's aqua-lungs, follow and rescue her and capture the crooks and killers before the police arrive. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »



Release Date:

24 June 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Rod Taylor. See more »


Referenced in Rod Taylor: Return to Oz (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

I enjoyed this film after waiting over 40 years to see it!
13 June 2012 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Chips Rafferty and Lee Robinson were partners for many years and this is one of the earlier feature collaborations they worked on.

Making films in Australia back in the 1950's was not easy, it was considered a " Non Essential Industry" due to the financial constraints put upon the country after WWII. This film had a budget of 25 thousand pounds, this is all the Government would give to assist film makers during this dry period. Its impressive to see a film of this caliber being made on such a small budget considering the locations involved.

Robinson had a theory in those days, he couldn't make an Aussie film as the fear was that an international audience would not be interested in this island of once convicts. The idea Robinson and Rafferty had was to make a film with fantastic locations which would in its own right be eye candy and write a script which would encapsulate these beautiful locations. The visual aspect of this film in some scenes is stunning, this was Robinson's idea from the start, he knew he needed to incorporate stunning visuals all tied up in a story which actually makes sense, the fact is, human smuggling is still being done to this day.

The underwater scenes were real, I was told that Robinson sat on the bottom of the ocean wearing a bell helmet and sitting in his Directors chair, what a class act for 1954!!

This film is an Aussie gem, really deserves a place in the history of Australian Cinema. Robinson and Rafferty changed the rules with this emerging industry, having audience with the Prime Minister on numerous occasions to discuss changes which were necessary to help the Australian film Industry evolve into what it is today.

The Australian Film Industry has a lot the thank Lee Robinson for, he was true pioneer.

I salute you Lee Robinson an unforgotten Hero!

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