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Olivia Newton-John in Funny Things Happen Down Under

Listing details: Funny Things Happen Down Under film screening
When: 4.30pm, Sat 27 April & 4 May
Where: The New Zealand Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington
Ticket price: $8 public / $6 concession


Olivia Newton-John in Funny Things Happen Down Under

Catch a young Olivia Newton-John acting and singing her heart out in Funny Things Happen Down Under (1965), her first film role. This rarely screened Australia - New Zealand co-production was shot in Victoria when Newton-John was seventeen years old.

The family musical is a spin-off of the early-1960s Australian children’s TV series, The Adventures of The Terrible Ten. The film tells the story of a group of kids from rural Wallaby Creek who try to save their beloved woolshed headquarters from demolition. They try all sorts of creative schemes to raise the two hundred pounds demanded by the owner to save the old woolshed. They try selling Christmas puddings, producing bottled mineral water and, finally, they market multi-coloured sheep’s wool as a naturally-occurring phenomena - causing much hubbub.

Also starring Howard Morrison.

Funny Things Happen Down Under contains several charming song and dance numbers, and some fantastic 1960s clothing.

“The actors are likable, the children natural [...] but [the film is] rather self-conscious in its American-style dances and songs.” - Variety, October 20 1965

The film was billed as the first Australia - New Zealand co-production.

Funny Things Happen Down Under will be shown in two school holiday matinee screenings at the Film Archive, Wellington. 4.30pm Saturday 27 April and Saturday 4 May.


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