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Below the Surface
Directed by Rupert Kathner
Produced by Rupert Kathner
Written by Rupert Kathner
Stan Tolhurst (story)
Starring Stan Tolhurst
Cinematography Tasman Higgins
Edited by Stan Tolhurst
Australian Cinema Entertainments
Release dates
Running time
55 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Below the Surface is a 1938 adventure tale set in the coal region of Newcastle, Australia. Only part of the movie survives today.


Two miners compete for an important coal contract. One of them attempts to sabotage the other but fails.


  • Stan Tolhurst
  • Phyllis Reilly
  • Neil Carlton
  • Jimmy McMahon
  • Lawrence Taylor
  • Reg King
  • Billy Baker
  • Leonard Clarke
  • Frank Baker
  • Billy Crooks


The main investor in the movie was a prominent music house in Sydney. The film was shot on location in Cronulla, Sydney and Newcastle, with studio work done at Pagewood Studios.[1][2] Kather and Tolhurt built a mine set themselves. Shooting took place from November 1937 to February 1938.[3]


Like Kathner's first movie, Phantom Gold (1937), it was refused to be considered eligible for registration under the New South Wales Film Quota Act on the grounds of poor quality.[3]

The film was never released to cinemas, the only one of Kather's movies to suffer this fate.[4]

In February 1938 Australian Cinema Entertainments announced plans to make four more features that year for £40,000, the first which was to be Diamonds in the Rough.[5] This did not eventuate. Tolhurst did revive the name with his company, ACE Films, in the late 1940s.[6]


  1. ^ "MINERS' SONS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 10 January 1938. p. 11. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "AUSTRALIAN FILM.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 1 December 1937. p. 9. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 184
  4. ^ Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years, Currency Press, 1989, p151
  5. ^ "AUSTRALIAN FILMS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 3 February 1938. p. 8. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ambitious film project by Australians.". The Australian Women's Weekly (National Library of Australia). 27 September 1947. p. 40. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

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