Wherever She Goes

Wherever She Goes is a 1951 Australian feature film that tells the early part of the life story of pianist Eileen Joyce. Directed by Michael Gordon, it stars Eileen Joyce and Muriel Steinbeck.

Wherever She Goes
Directed byMichael Gordon
Produced byMichael Gordon
Written byMichael Gordon
Barbara Woodward (add dialogue)
Based onPrelude: The Early Life of Eileen Joyce by Lady Clare Hoskyns-Abrahall
StarringEileen Joyce
Muriel Steinbeck
CinematographyGeorge Heath
Edited byBrereton Porter
Faun Film Productions
Distributed byBritish Empire Films
Release date
6 July 1951 (UK)
7 September 1951 (Aust)
Running time
80 mins


Eileen Joyce is born on the Tasmanian coast and becomes fascinated with music after hearing a man named Daniel play a mouth organ. When her parents decide to move the family to the Kalgoorlie goldfields Eileen sees a piano and resolves to play it. Her father's mine fails and the family has to live in a tent.

Eileen is given an old piano as a Christmas gift and soon becomes a child prodigy. She enters a local music carnival and wins. The story ends when she leaves Kalgoorlie to go to Perth, then flashes forward to a grown up Eileen playing in a concert.


  • Suzanne Parrett as young Eileen Joyce
  • Muriel Steinbeck as Mrs Joyce
  • Nigel Lovell as Will Joyce
  • George Wallace as the stage manager
  • Eileen Joyce as herself (non-speaking role)
  • Tim Drysdale as John Joyce
  • Rex Dawe as Mr James
  • Syd Chambers
  • John Wiltshire as Daniel
  • Harold Bourne as Bob


The film was one of several planned by independent companies in association with Ealing Studios to use Pagewood Studios in between official Ealing productions.

The director was Michael Gordon (born 1909), an English film editor. This was the sole full-length feature film he ever directed.[1] He had given a copy of the book on which the film was based to his children, and his wife suggested that it would make a good film.[2] Both the book and the film were highly fictionalised accounts of Joyce's life.[3] (The opening credits of the film would state that only the two children were real people and everyone else was fictionalised.)

Gordon arrived in Australia in August 1949 to prepare work on the film.[4] Eileen Joyce herself is shown at the start and end of the film, performing the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, but her role was primarily played by Suzanne Parrett, who never made another film. Eileen Joyce's hand double was Pamela Page.[5]

The bulk of the movie was shot at Pagewood Studios in Sydney with some location filming in Kalgoorlie and the Huon Valley. It features the last screen performance of comedian George Wallace, who plays a stage manager. The cast also includes Tommy Drysdale, young brother of Australian artist Russell Drysdale.[6]


The film had its Australian premiere in Hobart. It was one of the few Australian films of the time to receive a cinema release in the United States as well as the UK, but box office receipts were poor and critical reception mixed[7][8] although Suzanne Parrett's performance was praised.[9]

Filmink later argued "Steinbeck should have played the title role but is wasted in the part of her mother."[10]


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