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Walk Into Paradise

Walk Into Paradise (also known as Walk Into Hell) is a 1956 French-Australian international co-production adventure film directed by Lee Robinson and Marcello Pagliero and starring Chips Rafferty and Françoise Christophe. It was shot on location in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Walk Into Paradise
Walk Into Hell.jpg
US film poster
Directed byLee Robinson
Marcello Pagliero
Produced byMarcello Pagliero
Chips Rafferty
Lee Robinson
Written byLee Robinson
Chips Rafferty
Rex Rienits
StarringChips Rafferty
Françoise Christophe
Music byGeorges Auric
CinematographyCarl Kayser
Edited byAlex Ezard
Southern International Productions (Australia)
Discifilm (France)
Distributed byMGM (Aus)
Release date
  • 28 July 1956 (1956-07-28) (France)
  • 24 October 1956 (1956-10-24) (Australia)
Running time
93 minutes
Box office£90,000 (England)[2]
1,333,157 admissions (France)[3]


In New Guinea, an expedition led by Australian District Officer Steve McAllister heads up the Sepik River to a valley where the adventurer Sharkeye Kelly has discovered oil. The party includes United Nations doctor Louis Dumarcet and crocodile hunter Jeff Clayton.

Louise takes blood samples from small children and is attacked by a witchdoctor. The expedition risks being massacred but the children recover in time.



The film was originally planned as an entirely Australian film by Southern International Productions. Pre production began in 1954.[4][5][6]

Richard Boone and Chips Rafferty became friends making Kangaroo together. In 1954 Boone announced he would act in the film, then called The Head Hunters.[7] It was delayed reportedly due to poor weather.[8]

French producer Paul-Edmond Decharme proposed Rafferty and Robinson go into business with the French company Discifilm. The script was rewritten to accommodate two French stars. Robinson later claimed that 60% of the money invested in the film came from housewives.[9][10]

Shooting began in New Guinea in June 1955 and took place over twelve weeks.[11] Every scene was shot twice – once in French, once in English: Pagliero would direct the French version, Robinson would do the English.[2][12] Despite the difficulties of shooting on location, the film was infused only three days behind schedule.

The film was edited in Paris.[1]


The film was released in France as L'Odyssée du Capitaine Steve. A novelisation of the script by Gavin Casey was published in 1956.

Director Lee Robinson was nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival,[13] but was beaten by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle for Le Monde du silence.

American producer Joseph E. Levine purchased the film for distribution and added more jungle footage. When the film did poor business he retitled it Walk Into Hell, which increased its earnings dramatically.[14][15] Robinson claimed at one stage the movie was one of the 100 top grossers in the US.[2]


  1. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 222.
  2. ^ a b c "Lee Robinson interview with Albert Moran, Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture". 1987. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  3. ^ French box office figures for 1956 at Box Office Story
  4. ^ "'Chips' scores in N.G." The Argus. Melbourne. 11 May 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 3 March 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Film Location Chosen On Sepik River". The West Australian. Perth. 11 May 1954. p. 9. Retrieved 30 August 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "SEPIK RIVER FILM TO BE MADE". The Mercury. Hobart, Tasmania. 11 May 1954. p. 13. Retrieved 30 August 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Hopper, Hedda (31 December 1954). "Dick Boone Visits New Guinea for Movie on Head Hunters". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 10.
  8. ^ Schallert, Edwin (5 May 1955). "George Sanders Joins All-Star Group; 'Consul at Sunset' Optioned". Los Angeles Times. p. B17.
  9. ^ "New hope for stars of the future." The Australian Women's Weekly 9 May 1956: 23 accessed 16 December 2011
  10. ^ "French movie stars for New Guinea wilds". The Australian Women's Weekly. 29 June 1955. p. 13. Retrieved 27 August 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "SEPIK RIVER FILM TO BE MADE". The Mercury. Hobart, Tasmania. 11 May 1954. p. 13. Retrieved 8 March 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "Worth Reporting". The Australian Women's Weekly. 25 May 1955. p. 30. Retrieved 27 August 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Walk Into Paradise". Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  14. ^ Scheuer, P. K. (27 July 1959). "Meet joe levine, super(sales)man!". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167430798.
  15. ^ Robertson, Nan (1 August 1987). "Joseph E. Levine: a towering figure in movie making is dead". New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2009.

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