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Finding the Morrie Maurice Movies


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 22:45

Okay, we're underway...

The purpose of this quest is to find the many reels of 16mm movie shot by Morrie Maurice, principally in Western Australia, during the early fifties.

Maurie had a photo studio and I gather dabbled in the movie stuff for his own pleasure. He raced a couple of cars, the Ranford Chrysler Special that Barry Ranford ran in the AGP in 1951, which he converted to side valve Ford V8 power before too long, and then the wonderful looking HRG Holden prepared by Don Reimann.

Terry Walker can probably tell us more. And he'd be doing everyone a favour if he posted the photos of the HRG here, too!

Morrie died in 1958, and his widow, Elsie had all of his movies. Anyway, when I went to WA in 1979 to report on the AGP, I met up with Elsie because I was always interested in the prospect of replicating the old Chrysler Special and hoped to get some more information about it.

While talking to her, she mentioned his movies and the fact that she only had the one left. All the others had been loaned out over the years and 'lost' as people didn't return them and the details of just who got their hands on them were forgotten.

Undoubtedly most of them went to members of the WASCC and possibly to the Club itself for movie nights and the like.

She loaned me the one she had, with the 1955 and 1956 Moomba Albert Park meetings on them. It hadn't seen much use and was in very good shape, and I showed it around a few times before my brother offered to put it onto Video (in an amateurish way, I would have to say). I left it with him.

And I forgot that I did that. I thought I had lost the movie! I didn't want to lose it and I knew that Elsie would be unhappy if I did, especially after I promised not to.

Then my marriage fell apart and it sort of got neglected. Until my brother told me on the phone back in about 1998 that he'd come across it again. I phoned Elsie and told her about this, she'd forgotten all about it by then.

Then Elsie died. I don't know when, but by the time I actually picked up the movie from my brother (maybe three years ago) she had disappeared from the phone book and I think it was Terry told me she had passed away.

So I thought the best thing to do was to get it converted to DVD. I thought that maybe Channel 10 would like to use it as a time-filler in AGP broadcasts so Max Stahl contacted them via his contact with Bill Woods. They never replied.

I must say here, too, that Clive Gibson had played a part in this, because by the time I got the movie back the splices in it were coming apart and Clive stitched it all back together again.

Next step in the saga was Max spending a bunch of dollars getting it professionally transferred to DVD. The guy who did it put some music onto the DVD with it, though I wouldn't have done that. Had I got it onto video I was planning to get John Cummins to do a commentary... but that's by the bye.

It has some great, if amateur, scenes on it. John Medley might comment as he's seen it. Some of the old drivers are shown in person as well as the on-track footage. Some of that is just fantastic, especially the stuff where the 250Fs are sliding through the sweepers around the lake.

Channel 10 in the end did use the DVD on TV, and they paid for the privilege. Max has asked me what to do about the money, so I decided that we should set up a bit of a fund to find the other film and put it all onto DVD for people to enjoy.

So now we are offering copies of this DVD for sale. I don't know how much yet, but for a real live colour capture, with excellent quality, of life at the circuit at Albert Park in the fifties, I'm asking people to send me their 'expressions of interest' ... by e.mail only to raybell@racingphoenix.com or r@ybell.net.

Please entitle your e.mail 'Maurice DVD' so that I can find them all when I need to.

The Matich vs Stillwell thread has got two takers champing at the bit to get copies, so let's see how many more there are out there so we can get a bunch of DVD burning done.

Remember, the purpose of this is to fund the finding and conversion of the other Maurice 16mm movie to DVD for all to enjoy. It's a non-profit venture all the way. We will allow television use of the stuff if the TV channel pays (as Channel 10 has already done with the one we have) into this fund.

If this goes further, if we find enough and collect enough, maybe we'll expand the conversion to other movie that might turn up. But always the end result will be that they are being done to make them available to anyone who wants them.

In the interim, any WA forum members are invited to use this thread to help us find the remaining Maurice movies. Terry Walker in particular, you should have contacts and ideas that will help us out.

Let's see how we go, eh?

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:07

Morrie's HRG based Holden engined car . . Pic by the late Dave Van Dal .

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I'm in a rush at the moment, I'm off to drive at a wedding, but there is a bloke here in Perth who has for many years been accumulating motor sport movie film in all sorts of formats. I have seen his DVD transfer of footage of the 1940 Applecross event, short but great. He may well have ferreted out a lot of Morrie's stuff without knowing its provenance. I did hear a rumour that Syd Negus borrowed some of Morrie's footage.

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:44

Thanks Terry... I look forward to seeing what you can post of it when you have time!

In the meantime, some Mt Druitt movies shot by Midge or Alan Wood have also been put on DVD and will be available in the same manner.

#4 Stan Patterson

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:19

It was Stillwell vs Matich. Ray........details

That pic is sensationalllllllllllll ..we had a Vanguard that colour...


Stan

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:22

If you think that's sensational, wait until you see the underbonnet shots!

What details are you asking, Stan? Best you e.mail me as described. Oh, yeah, sorry to hear about the Vanguard. And just look at them in the background in this pic!

#6 Stan Patterson

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:30

Ray,

Didnt Kevin Bartlett first race Morris Minor convertible some where in NSW?


Stan

#7 frogeye59

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:30

Great Photo, any ideas what No21 in the background is, curious looking beast...

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:45

Yes, Kevin Bartlett did start racing in a Morris Minor convertible...

And so far I don't know what that car is frogeye... I'm waiting for Terry to return to see what he has to say about it.

In the meantime, let me just repeat... the outside of this HRG is the least appealing part of it!

#9 RTH

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:57

This could all be most interesting, perhaps enough old racing footage from whatever souces could be got together and turned in to a series of historical motor racing DVDs.
How about running some newspaper appeals for people to turn out old racing cine film across Australia and New Zealand ! You never know what might turn up maybe put in a 'wanted' on Ebay.

I know our own Gary C has been successful finding old film on the subject in UK in this way.

By the way are there already historic racing archive DVD from say 50 years ago already on sale in Australia ?

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 11:02

I don't think so... but I do have a minute or so of the Australian Grand Prix of 1949 on video...

Only we won't get copyright to that one, I don't think. In fact, I've forgotten who it was I got it from.

Colour... the start... the Regal takes the lead... Kleinig's pit stop...

#11 Robert Bailey

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 11:06

Ray,would it be worth while putting up a thread to see if anyone else has film of the better time's ie 50 and 60's.better you do it as you have far better credit then most of us followers i will ask on another thread i am on.on another subject on www.yourtube.com.au type in brabham,sandown and there is a 8 min video of Brabham,Fangio at Sandown 78.if you go to www.ferrarichat.com go to Aussi section and look for old ferrari photo's great photo's of Albert Park in the 50's.you will have to join ,sign up its free to see photo's regards rob Bailey.

#12 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:14

The other side of the Morrie Maurice car's engine:

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and the other other side.

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Not many "grey" motors had a magneto.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 10:37

Shame those pics aren't in colour too, Terry...

As for the magneto, I think a few speedcars with Holdens had them.