In 1965 Olivia Newton-John starred in her first film - Funny Things Happen Down Under. Made by Pacific Films in Melbourne, Australia (now defunct) this one hour film was a comedy/musical aimed at children.
Olivia did not have a large part in the film but sang one song "Christmas Time Down Under" (not available on any record release). She can be seen in the background throughout the movie contributing several lines.
The basic storyline is about a group of children who, unless they can come up with £200 before Christmas day, stand to loose the wool shed that they play in. Whilst trying to earn this money they accidentally discover a mystery formula that turns sheep's wool different colours. The children try to sell this formula to some foreign wool buyers and this leads to some slapstick, rather predictable, comedy scenes. However, in the end two young men save the day by winning the local sheep shearing contest and donating their prize money (£200) to the children.
The film hasn't the greatest plot but it is certainly no worse than
many of the kid's films around today. Of particular note the film features Olivia's first
boyfriend Ian Turpie and the song "Click Go The Shears" which Olivia is to sing
22 years later in her TV special Down Under.
Of course, I am biased when I say that the best bit is Olivia performing Christmas Time Down Under!
Australia used pounds, shillings and pence until decimalisation in February 1966 when the denomination was switched to the Australian dollar
Details of rental video release