On the Beach

Movie poster for the film On the Beach
On the Beach
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On the Beach (Stanley Kramer, USA, 1959): Starring John Meillon (1934–1989), b. Mosman, NSW

Starring alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, 24-year-old John Meillon made his film debut as Ralph Swain in this post-apocalyptic drama.

Filming took place around Victoria with the Royal Australian Navy providing support and access to the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and submarine HMS Andrew.

His second film role, in The Sundowners (1960), took Meillon to London. While his career flourished abroad, he returned to Australia in 1964.

Two decades later he was cast in arguably his most recognisable role as Walter ‘Wally’ Reilly, Mick Dundee’s sidekick in Crocodile Dundee (1986).

The stark portraits of the actors on this poster effectively reinforce the serious theme of the movie, while the red and yellow colour scheme suggests danger and the invisible, yet looming threat of nuclear fallout.

Notes by Michelle Davenport