1995, 58 Minutes
Australians of the 1890s were among the first to discover the medium of film, and to excel at it.
Early classics such as The Story of the Kelly Gang, Robbery Under Arms and The Squatter’s Daughter were followed by international hits The Sentimental Bloke and On Our Selection.
The careers of actors such as Lottie Lyell and Arthur Tauchert and directors including Alfred Rolfe, Raymond Longford and Beaumont Smith were established during this era. Woman Suffers, The, directed by Raymond Longford and starring Lottie Lyell, is one of the most significant, surviving treasures of Australia’s silent film heritage. And The Grip of the Polar Ice launched Frank Hurley as one of the leading documentary makers of the world.
However, lack of government interest coupled with restrictive laws saw our movie screens taken over by Hollywood as early as 1918. Despite this, a dynamic band of filmmakers with a bold and uncompromising vision had been established.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Co-Writer: Robert Francis
Narrator: Bryan Brown
Running Time: 58 Minutes
Curriculum Links: Creative Arts, Studies of Society and Environment, Film, Cinema and Screen Studies, Australian History.