Hollywood and after
The Man from Kangaroo was a big hit for Carroll-Baker Productions as were the other two pictures: The Shadow of Lightning Ridge (Wilfred Lucas, Australia, 1920) and The Jackeroo of Coolabong (Wilfred Lucas, Australia, 1920), both now considered lost films. They obtained an American release but the collaboration between Baker, Lucas and Meredyth finished and everyone went their separate ways.
In August 1920, Snowy moved to Hollywood and continued to make pictures. Two of Baker's Hollywood films – The Empire Builders (Duke Worne, USA, 1924) and The Sword of Valor (Duke Worne, USA, 1924) – have also been restored by the NFSA. In The Empire Builders, 'a thrilling story of the African veldt', Snowy shares top billing with his trusty horse from Australia, billed as 'Boomerang the Wonder Horse'.
When his film career was over Snowy turned his skills to training actors such as Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple and Rudolph Valentino in horseriding and stunt work.
His final career move was to become manager of the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades in California. It was here that Snowy pursued his love of polo, mingling with the Hollywood stars that walked through the doors of the club.
Snowy Baker was a star in every sense of the word, excelling in every activity he pursued. He never forgot about Australia, returning in 1952 with the hope of someday returning here permanently but died the following year.
The Man from Kangaroo, The Empire Builders and The Sword of Valor will have their world premiere NFSA Restores screenings at QAGOMA on 25 April. Each film is accompanied by a new score performed live by pianist Mauro Colombis. The Man from Kangaroo also screens with a live score at Arc cinema in Canberra on 6 May followed by The Empire Builders and The Sword of Valor in June.