Always Another Dawn

Always Another Dawn is a 1948 Australian wartime melodrama directed by T.O. McCreadie. It was the first leading role for Bud Tingwell.

Always Another Dawn
Directed byT.O. McCreadie
Produced byT.O. McCreadie
A.K. McCreadie (executive)
Written byZelma Roberts
T.O. McCreadie
Based onnovel by Zelma Roberts
StarringCharles Tingwell
Guy Doleman
Music byWilbur Sampson
CinematographyHarry Malcolm
Edited byAlex Ezard
McCreadie Brothers Embassy Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (Aust)
Eroc Films (UK)
Release date
24 September 1948
Running time
108 mins (Aust)
73 mins (UK)


Terry Regan, from Camden, New South Wales, is the son of Molly Regan and a naval officer who died in action in 1916. Terry is called up to serve in the navy during World War II, and turns down a commission in order to see action early. He becomes friends with fellow sailor Warren and serves in the Mediterranean on HMAS Dauntless for two years. While home on leave he falls in love with his neighbour's daughter, Patricia, and they plan to marry on his next leave. Dauntless is attacked and sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of the Java Sea; Terry is killed but Warren is among a handful of survivors. He goes to visit Molly and they talk about Terry.



The script was co-written by New Zealand author Zelma Roberts whose husband had been killed on active service with the New Zealand armed forces.

It was Charles Tingwell's first lead role and only his second film. Terrence Coy, who plays Tingwell as a boy, won his role in a competition.[2]

Although the ship in the film, Dauntless, was fictitious, it is based on the real-life HMAS Yarra, which was sunk by the Japanese in 1942 with only 13 survivors.[3]

The film was made with the co-operation of the Royal Australian Navy. Shooting began in February 1947 and lasted six months, taking place at Flinders Naval Depot, Camden, and aboard the destroyer HMAS Bataan. A small studio was provided by Commonwealth Film Laboratories. During filming of the final battle in Port Phillip Bay, £300 went missing from the Bataan which represented payroll for the film crew.[4]

Post production took another four months.[5]


A novel was published in 1948.[6]

Box Office

The film only lasted in Sydney cinemas for two weeks but a shortened version was released in England.[7]


Critical reception was not strong, the critic from the Sydney Morning Herald claiming that "the dialogue is stilted and unreal, character development is inadequate and stodgy, and the tale is not crystallised in terms of fluent camera action."[8] The Argus thought "the film scores in its camera work - and in being 'so close to home.' The handling of its rather tragic story and its efforts to introduce comedy are not quite so impressive. Charles Tingwell and Gus Doleman are interesting male leads."[9]

In later years Quentin Turnour, chief programmer with the National Film and Sound Archive, said the film demonstrated the tendency of Australian war movies to focus on the "reluctant warrior... By the time of Rats of Tobruk we're seeing that very laconic tone, a movie much more about the personal experience. Always Another Dawn... about the experience of Australian sailors, is a good example of that. There's a lot of sadness in that film, no glorification of war." [10]


  1. Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 206.
  2. "TERRY COY WINS PART IN AUSTRALIAN FILM." The Sydney Morning Herald 30 Apr 1947: 1 Supplement: Playtime Children's Newspaper accessed 4 December 2011
  3. ""Call Nerthside 777"". Western Herald (Bourke, NSW : 1887 - 1970). Bourke, NSW: National Library of Australia. 1 July 1949. p. 6. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  4. "Police Inquiring; Into £300 Warship Robbery." The Mail (Adelaide) 17 May 1947: 2 accessed 4 December 2011
  5. "No title." The Australian Women's Weekly 10 Apr 1948: 26 accessed 4 December 2011
  6. Always Another Dawn novel at AustLit
  7. "Film Streamlined." Sunday Times (Perth) 22 May 1949: 1 Supplement: Sunday Times Comics accessed 4 December 2011
  8. "NEW FILMS IN SYDNEY." The Sydney Morning Herald 27 Sep 1948: 2 accessed 4 December 2011
  9. "THE ARGUS SCREEN REVIEW" The Argus (Melbourne) 20 Nov 1948: 30 accessed 4 December 2011
  10. A return to arms; COVER STORY Houston, Melinda. Sunday Age 16 Apr 2006: 4.
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