On the Friendly Road
A whimsical story of our own life – how we have braved difficult times and are winning out.
On the Friendly Road, New Zealand, 1936
Produced, Directed & Edited by the New Zealand Film Guild
Camera: Rudall Hayward
Sound: Jack Baxendale
Camera Assistant: Jack McCarthy
Sound Assistant: Gerhard Diedrichs
Script: George Altier (Leonard Leary), adapted from the play by George Altier
Soloist: R.G. SImmers sings the theme song
Musical Director: Sam Raymond
With: Uncle Scrim: The Rev. C.G.Scrimgeour, Stanley Knight (Bill), John Mackle (McDermott), Jean Hamilton (Mary), James Swan (Stevenson), Neville Goodwin (Harry), James Martin (Alex), Arnold Goodwin (Mike), Harold Metcalfe (Snuffy), Alan Leonard (The Bobby), Wharepaia (Hori), Kahu (The Chieftainess), and featuring: Gladys Swan, Philippa Hayward, John Bell, Ronald Medland, Ian Moir, Ethel Rae, Frederick McCallum
35mm, 84 minutes, G
"A whimsical story of our own life – how we have braved difficult times and are winning out. Brilliantly acted, sparkling with native wit, and photographed against glorious scenic backgrounds." — Souvenir Frames of New Zealand’s First Great National Talkies, 1936
On the Friendly Road tells the story of farmer, "Mac" McDermott and his wife, and their struggles with adversity. McDermott, who was previously wrongfully imprisoned, has committed himself to an unfortunate bargain to help two fellow convicts to escape from Mount Eden goal. They seek refuge at his farm and compel him to help them in a robbery at the home of Stevenson, a well-to-do Scotsman who happens to be McDermott's mortgagee. By the end of the film all the complications have been straightened out, largely through the intervention of Bill the Tramp, who represents the spirit of the Friendly Road, and of the McDermott children, Harry and "Stinker." Even Stevenson melts under the influence of the Friendly Road doctrines.
On the Friendly Road was a vehicle for well-known radio personality 'Uncle Scrim', the Reverend Colin Scrimgeour and is based on his weekly radio programme "The Friendly Road" through which he responded to listeners' letters with helpful advice.
Read a review from The Evening Post, 24 October 1936
Rudall Hayward (1900-1974) began making films in the 1920s, when New Zealand's film industry was in its genesis. Filmmaking during this early period was difficult and beset by problems, most notably a lack of funding and equipment. Few were successful at it. Hayward was one of only a small handful who managed to sustain a fulltime career as a filmmaker.
Starting as a nine-year-old assistant to the Projectionist at Hayward's Theatre in Waihi, Rudall Hayward spent his lifetime in film. He died in 1974, but remains one of New Zealand's most prolific filmmakers.
Screenings: On The Friendly Road screened on 12 February 2011 to support the Reel Adventures of Rudall Hayward exhibition at Auckland Museum