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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday September 16, 2019 

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PATE, MICHAEL

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 regard."

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.

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Michael Pate

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