1995, 56 Minutes
Ever since Thomas Edison combined his Gramophone and Kinetoscope miracles to make the Kinetophone, mad inventors everywhere had tried to make sound and moving pictures synchronise.
In the late twenties, with the fading of the Charleston, and the onslaught of the Depression, the Talkies were finally invented, and heralded the golden era of the movies. The new technology of talking pictures revolutionised the industry and brought forth modern stars like Chips Rafferty and Shirley Ann Richards. In the Wake of the Bounty introduced the swashbuckling Errol Flynn to the screen. Epic filmmakers Charles Chauvel (Forty Thousand Horsemen) and the Talkie pioneer FW Thring (The Sentimental Bloke) directed homegrown classics and Ken Hall had 17 box office hits in a row, including the popular classic On Our Selection.
Our great documentary tradition continued through the skills of John Heyer’s Journey of a Nation and The Valley is Ours; and of wartime cameraman Damien Parer, whose Kokoda Front Line was the first Australian film to win an Oscar.
Despite the ever-increasing power of Hollywood and its continuing efforts to put domestic films out of business, our celluloid heroes forged a unique Australian image on screen, which local audiences thronged to watch.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.