F. W. Thring

F. W. Thring
Born Francis William Thring
2 December 1883
Wentworth, New South Wales
Died 1 July 1936 (1936-08) (aged 52)
East Melbourne
Resting place Burwood Cemetery
Known for Film making

Francis William Thring (2 December 1883 – 1 July 1936), better known as F. W. Thring, was an Australian film director, producer, and exhibitor.


Thring was born in Wentworth, New South Wales, the son of a labourer, William Frances Thring, and Angelina Thring (née McDonald). He worked as a conjurer in the outback and as a bootmaker in Gawler, South Australia, as well as starting Biograph Pictures in Tasmania. In 1911, he became a projectionist at Kreitmayer's Waxworks in Melbourne, Victoria. He thrived in the cinema trade and opened the Paramount Theatre in 1915 and became managing director of J.C. Williamson Films in 1918, which eventually merged to become Hoyts in 1926.


In 1930, Thring sold his interests in Hoyts to Fox Film Corporation and went into film production, establishing Efftee Studios (based on his initials). Over the next five years, Efftee produced nine features, over 80 shorts and several stage productions, including the Australian musicals Collits' Inn and The Cedar Tree. Notable collaborators include C. J. Dennis, George Wallace and Frank Harvey.[1]

Thring visited Britain in 1932-33, where he sold Efftee's entire output: seven features, nine shorts and a series about the Great Barrier Reef made with Noel Monkman.[2]

In 1932 Thring became the leader of a campaign for a quota for Australian films. In 1934, he suspended Efftee's operations, announcing that resumption would depend upon the introduction of an effective quota system in Victoria.

In 1935, Efftee obtained licence to broadcast from the then-new broadcasting station 3XY which was owned by the United Australia Party (and later the Liberal Party. 3XY originally broadcast from studios in the former ballroom at the top of the Princess Theatre, Melbourne.

After New South Wales passed its Cinematograph Films (Australian Quota) Act in September 1935, Thring resumed production in February 1936, in Sydney, becoming chairman of directors of Mastercraft Film Corporation Ltd while remaining managing director of Efftee Film Productions. In March he sailed for Hollywood in search of scriptwriters and actors.[2][3][4] and returned in June but died soon after.

Olive Thring (Philip Alexius de Laszlo, 1933)

Thring died of cancer on 1 July 1936, aged 52, in East Melbourne and was buried in Burwood Cemetery. He was survived by a daughter from his first marriage to Grace Wight (Viola, known as Lola; 1911–71), his second wife, Olive, née Kreitmayer whom he had married on 25 April 1921, and their then 10-year-old son, the future actor Frank Thring.[2]

Lola dated the future Prime Minister Harold Holt but she ultimately rejected him only to marry his divorced father, her father's business partner. Harold Holt thus acquired a step-mother who was three years his junior.[5]

It was estimated Thring lost over ₤75,000 of his own money on his filmmaking and theatrical ventures.[6]

Selected filmography

Unmade films

Selected theatre credits

See also


  1. "No. 1. Our Chances for World Markets.". Table Talk. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 17 August 1933. p. 7. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Holroyd, J. P., 'Thring, Francis William (Frank) (1882–1936)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University accessed 22 January 2012.
  3. "FILMS TO BE MADE FROM AUSTRALIAN STORIES.". The Barrier Miner. Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia. 2 March 1936. p. 4. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  4. "AUSTRALIA THREATENS RAID ON HOLLYWOOD TALENT: Anzacs Plan Twenty Films in Next Year F. W. Thring, Producer, Here to Sign Players; Sydney-Melbourne Actor Colony Offers Nucleus; Climate Like Ours" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 10 May 1936: C1.
  5. Treasury Publications. Retrieved 21 February 2014
  6. Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema:The First Eighty Years, Currency Press, p125
  7. "AUSTRALIAN FILMS.". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 24 March 1932. p. 9 Edition: HOME (FINAL) EDITION. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  8. "Notes on the Screen.". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 10 January 1934. p. 5. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  9. "AUSTRALIAN FILMS.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 31 January 1934. p. 8. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  10. "AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTIONS.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 14 July 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 9 August 2012.

External links

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