Up Jumped a Swagman

Up Jumped a Swagman is a 1965 British musical comedy film directed by Christopher Miles and starring Frank Ifield, Annette Andre, Ronald Radd and Suzy Kendall.[1][2] It includes the songs "Waltzing Matilda" and "I Remember You".[3]

Up Jumped a Swagman
British quad poster
Directed byChristopher Miles
Produced byAndrew Mitchell
Written byLewis Greifer
StarringFrank Ifield
Annette Andre
Richard Wattis
Music byNorrie Paramor
CinematographyKenneth Higgins
Edited byJack Slade
Elstree (Ivy Films)
Distributed byWarner-Pathe Distributors (UK)
Release date
21 December 1965 (London) (UK)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


An aspiring Australian singer moves to London[4] in the hope of a big breakthrough. He chases after a popular model, not noticing the beautiful daughter of a pub owner who loves him. He also gets involved with a gang of thieves.



The film was made when Frank Ifield was at the height of his popularity, and attempts to reproduce the success of Cliff Richard's musicals. Ifield's agent, Leslie Grade, suggested another one of his clients, Christopher Miles, as director. Miles was only 25 and had never made a feature film before. He said the script was to be written by the people who wrote Richard's musicals:

Unfortunately the two writers of the Cliff pictures were not then on speaking terms, so the two halves of a rather soggy script arrived separately in the post, and not surprisingly made no sense at all. So Leslie, not one to be beaten, got an old writer friend from ITV, Lewis Greifer, saying "He's the man, I know you'll get on well" which we did. However, thinking up a credible vehicle for Frank, amiable and charming as he was, proved to me that ultimately you cannot make a celluloid purse out of a sow's ear, even though Frank was gamely willing to send himself up. It was going to have to be a small budget, and to save money I was asked to use a new film saving invention – the dreaded 'Techniscope' process. By only using two sprocket holes for each frame (instead of the standard four) a narrow negative was created, which had a sort of wide-screen look. However, in 1965 colour film stock was still rather grainy, which showed when the final picture was blown up for the large cinema screen.[5]

Miles also said the leading lady fell pregnant before shooting started; he replaced her with Suzy Kendall (making her film debut).[3][5]

The film was shot at MGM's London studios at Boreham Wood, with exteriors at Gravesend Docks, St. Paul's Cathedral, Hyde Park, the Albert Memorial and Elstree town.[6]

Miles later reflected:

It was a baptism of fire but it taught me a lot about making a feature. It taught me that you cannot make a celluloid purse out of a sow's ear. You must get the script right first... Bunuel made musicals at one time and he probably destroyed the negatives by now. Like me, he needed the money.[7]


Songs featured include:

  • "Once A Jolly Swagman"
  • "Look Don't Touch"
  • "I Remember You"
  • "I've Got A Hole In My Pocket"
  • "I'll Never Feel This Way Again"
  • "Cry Wolf"
  • "Wild Rover"
  • "Make It Soon"
  • "Botany Bay"
  • "Lovin' On My Mind"
  • "I Guess"
  • "Waltzing Matilda"


A script for a follow-up Ifield movie was prepared[8] but never made.

Home media

It was released on DVD in 2014.[9]


  1. "Up Jumped a Swagman (1965)". BFI.
  2. Brian Gibson (30 June 1965). "Annette's in top gear". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. p. 7. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  3. "Up Jumped A Swagman". TVGuide.com.
  4. "Image caption-No title". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 4 October 1965. p. 13. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  5. Up Jumped a Swagman Directors Notes at Chris Miles website accessed 8 September 2013
  6. "Reel Streets".
  7. "A roomful of dreams: In Paris, Theo Richmond interviews director Chisopher Miles" The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 03 Nov 1970: 10.
  8. Nan Musgrove (13 October 1965). "Frank is home with his bride". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. p. 7. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  9. "Network ON AIR > Up Jumped a Swagman".
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