1972, 15 Minutes
Where Dead Men Lie is a short drama based on a "script" written by Henry Lawson in 1896 in the earliest days of moving pictures. Anticipating the development of dramatic cinema, Lawson wrote his story, "The Australian Cinematograph", with clear directions for the camera.
This beautifully shot film, made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death, features the voices of Jack Thompson and Max Cullen. It tells of a drover who has been away from home for four months. In a hurry to get back to his family, he attempts the most direct route - through drought-stricken country.
Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Spotlight the Director (1973, 13 Minutes) This short film study goes behind the scenes to show the making of Where Dead Men Lie. It’s a fascinating insight into the creative processes and techniques used by the film's director and the decisions by which he turns an idea into a reality.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Keith Gow
Producer: Gil Brealey
Writer: Henry Lawson
Cinematographers: Dean Semler, Jon Rhodes
Narrators: Jack Thompson, Max Cullen
Principal Cast: Anne Haddy, Howie Debney, Jock Levy, Ross Debney, Mary Mckay, Snider Brown, Huw Price, David Webb, Stephen Millikan
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum links: Australian Literature; Creative Writing; English Stage 6 Extension Module C: Language and Values; Poetry; Film, Cinema and Screen Studies.
Academy Award winning Cinematographer Dean Semler has said of working on this film: "I was very lucky to be asked to shoot'Where Dead Men Lie'...this to me was like shooting Lawrence of Arabia. To be able to go out into the Australian desert and shoot 35 mm for the first time in the classic Australian outback. This was heaven to me, it was just heaven. I was so excited I was like a kid in a lolly shop".
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