Actor, director, producer Michael Pate has been writing radio, TV, film-scripts
since mid 1938 when he started as a writer-broadcaster with the
ABC in Sydney. For MGM in the US, he was involved in the original
scripting of Escape From Fort Bravo with his brother-in-law,
Phillip Rock, and after that for RKO, with The Most Dangerous Man
Alive, a Rawhide ep, among others. He also wrote the original
script for Age of Consent from Norman Lindsay's book, which
Columbia made out here in 1968, with Pate as Associate Producer
for Mickey Powell and James Mason. He later wrote The Mango Tree
and also Tim, for which he won the Best Screenplay AWGIE in 1979.
The latter was also remade in the US by WCBS/Hallmark in 1996,
for which Pate got a "most unexpected" credit as
original screenplay writer.
"Today," he says, "I simply occupy my dotage by
rattling my brains in front of my big, new computer - and
whacking out a script from time to time. I've just launched one
around the world with a SA co-writer and I could be involved
shortly in scripting another with another SA writer. I'm also
acting as 'sounding-board' to a script my son's writing (on a
story I wrote long ago - then hopefully to be made in Hollywood)
and I've got about three other screenplays in various forms on
the go at the moment.
On another computer, I have some 127 ideas for screenplays -
from which I've only had the time to write about 6-8 scripts or
so and maybe another half a dozen treatments whilst doctoring
other people's efforts - mostly for nothing and often in vain.
"Problem is, I guess, nobody really ever thinks of me as
a writer-for-hire - I've never hung out a shingle in this
Well, it’s hardly surprising, since Pate’s profile
is highest as an actor, starting with Sons of Matthew in 1949 for
Australia’s extraordinary film pioneer, Charles Chauvel, and
going on to nearly 60 movie roles.