The Sturt Expedition (1951)
Rod Taylor portrayed George Macleay in this 16-minute showreel -- also
known as "Inland With Sturt" -- about an expedition into central
Australia led by that continent's renowned explorer, Capt. Charles Sturt.
(Rodney Sturt Taylor himself is the great-great-grandnephew of the explorer.)
The film is a re-enactment of Sturt's second Australian expedition, which
in 1829-30 traced the Murrumbidgee River to its junction with the Murray
River and then followed the Murray to Lake Alexandrina. It was the first
exploration to penetrate the center of the continent.
"The Sturt Expedition" was one of the first features of Australia's
Jubilee celebrations in 1951, when festivities were held throughout Australia
to celebrate 50 years since the commonwealth was founded in1901.
In addition to Rod, the crew was made up of fellow actor Grant Taylor,
who portrayed Sturt, and six army officers. The modern crew took no shortcuts
during filming in 1950, and there was no motor on the boat. "We did
indeed row over a thousand miles down the Murrumbigee and Murray rivers
and sailed across Lake Alexandrina," Taylor said.
An Australian newspaper article from 1950 also noted:
The six young Army officers and two actors, Grant and
Rodney Taylor, who comprise the crew are in splendid physical condition,
and hard rowing does not seem to tire them.