When Hollywood Came to Town

1 Rendlesham Avenue, Mt Eliza

‘Sandy Cove’, 1 Rendlesham Ave, Mt Eliza, Vic

Back in 1957, the then owners of this house had a house guest. An English-born aeronautical engineer and prolific writer who had moved to Melbourne after the war.  He penned a novel during his stay in the house, then known as Sandy Cove, walking distance from Ranelagh Beach. It’s no wonder that the house is hidden behind a high hedge as I’m quite sure that literary and trivia fanatics must seek it out regularly as this thought-provoking and timely book caused quite a sensation and even more so when it was made into a movie two years later.

The book was aptly titled On the Beach and the author was Neville Shute or Neville Shute Norway to be precise as Neville Shute was his non de plume. The movie was filmed on location in 1959 and the stars Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner resided a few streets away from Sandy Cove during filming at 67 Glen Shian Lane, Mt Eliza.

Note: Neville Shute Norway purchased a farm for his family at 710 Robinsons Road, Langwarrin in 1950. His novel A Town Like Alice was made into a movie starring Peter Finch in 1950. In 1981 it was remade as a TV Mini-Series starring Bryan Brown. He died in 1960.

Sources: Wikipedia, izi.travel and personal reminiscence as a star-struck kid growing up in the district during the filming of On the Beach.


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