Australian films 1900-1945 which still exist
—by release date
The standard reference for the period 1900-1977, Pike & Cooper, uses a simple key to indicate the availability of films 1900-1945. The list below includes only those films which 'substantially' or partly survive, according to that authority. I am aware of no such data for NZ films, so none are included, tho the data may exist.
* Substantially complete
** Incomplete: has major gaps, several reels missing, or exists only in fragments
Story of the Kelly Gang, The** (Charles Tait, 1906) world's first feature film, in the sense that it ran for more than an hour; seventeen minutes of the film have been restored and released by the National Film and Sound Archive
Romantic Story Of Margaret Catchpole, The** (Raymond Longford, 1911) Lottie Lyell
Ticket Of Leave Man, The** (Gaston Mervale, 1912) 46 min.
Sick Stockrider, The* (W. J. Lincoln, 1913) - earliest film to survive complete; it's of about 1200 ft or 14 min.
Long, Long Way To Tipperary, A** (George Dean, 1914)
Hero Of The Dardanelles, The** (Alfred Rolfe, 1915) war; two brothers at Gallipoli
Joan of Arc Of Loos, The** (George Willoughby, 1916) dp Franklyn Barrett; Jane King, Jean Robertson, Clive Farnham; shot Tamarama Beach, Sydney; war story
Officer 666** (Fred Niblo, 1916)
Seven Keys To Baldpate** (Monte Luke, 1916)
Enemy Within, The* (Roland Stavely, 1918) dp Franklyn Barrett; Reg L. 'Snowy' Baker (Jack Airlie), John Faulkner (Henry Brasels), Lily Molloy; spy actioner; at 5500 ft (about an hour) this is the earliest feature film to survive complete (Pike & Cooper: 76)
Waybacks, The** (Arthur W. Sterry, 1918)
Australia's Own** (J. E. Ward, 1919) romance
Hordern Mystery, The* (Harry Southwell, 1920)
Kelly Gang, The* (Harry Southwell, 1920)
Man From Kangaroo, The* (Wilfred Lucas, 1920)
Robbery Under Arms* (Kenneth Brampton, 1920)
Girl of the Bush, A* (Franklyn Barrett, 1921) Barrett's Australian Productions - the first of three for this company; Vera James, Jack Martin, Herbert Linden; the second of the only two films directed by Franklyn Barrett that still exist, thanks to the NFSA; 6000ft
Life Story Of John Lee, The, or The Man They Could Not Hang* (Arthur W. Sterry, 1921) Sterry and Haldane, wr. Arthur W. Sterry; dp Tasman Higgins; Rose Rooney, David Edelsten; 6 reels; remake of the 1912 film of the same name
Possum Paddock** (Charles Villiers, Kate Howarde, 1921)
Silks And Saddles* (John K. Wells, 1921) aka Queen of the Turf
Circumstance** (Lawson Harris, 1922)
Sunshine Sally** (Lawson Harris, 1922) aka Winnie of Woolloomooloo; Production Company: Austral Super Films. Producer: Lawson Harris, Yvonne Pavis. Screenplay, Scenario, Script: John Cosgrove. Photography: Arthur Higgins. Assistant Director: Clyde Marsh. 5000 ft. Cast: Yvonne Pavis (Sal), Joy Revelle (Tottie Faye), John Cosgrove (Spud Murphy), Dinks Patterson (Skinny Smith), Mrs Hutton (Katie Smith), J P O'Neill (Bill Smith), Sheila Moore (Mrs Constance Stanton), Lionel Lunn (Basil Stanton), Mervyn Barrington (James Stanton), Maude Ranier (Salvation Army woman). "Sal is rescued from the surf at Coogee by a bronzed lifesaver, Basil Stanton, and is taken to his wealthy Potts Point home to recuperate." (Pike & Cooper)
When The Kellys Were Out** (Harry Southwell, 1923) aka True Story of the Kelly Gang
Daughter Of The East** (Roy Darling, 1924) aka The Boy Of The Dardanelles; a melodrama of Anzac Cove
Digger Earl, The** (Beaumont Smith, 1924)
Around The Boree Log* (Phil K. Walsh, 1925) based on poems of John O'Brien; 45 min.
Jewelled Nights** (Louise Lovely, Wilton Welch, 1925) wr. Louise Lovely, Wilton Welch from novel by Marie Bjelke Petersen; prod. Louise Lovely, Wilton Welch; Louise Lovely, Gordon Collingridge, Godfrey Cass; osmiridium mining in Tasmania
Painted Daughters** (F. Stuart-Whyte, 1925)
Those Terrible Twins** (J. E. Ward, 1925) Ginger Meggs
Hound Of The Deep, The* (Frank Hurley, 1926) aka Pearl of the South Seas; Stoll Picture Productions; see also The Jungle Woman
Jungle Woman, The (Frank Hurley, 1926)* shot in New Guinea
Pioneers, The** (Raymond Longford, 1926) novel Katharine Susannah Prichard
Tenth Straw, The* (Robert G. McAnderson, 1926) convict melodrama
Those who Love** (P. J. Ramster, Paulette McDonagh, 1926) prod. Paulette McDonagh, prod. manager & art dir. Phyllis McDonagh; Marie Lorraine [Isabel McDonagh]
Environment* (Gerald Hayle, 1927)
For the Term of his Natural Life* (Norman Dawn, 1927) George Fisher (Rufus Dawes), Eva Novak, Dunstan Webb, Jessica Harcourt, Arthur McLaglen, Marion Marcus Clarke; prison saga
Kid Stakes, The* (Tal Ordell, 1927) 'Pop' Ordell, Charles Roberts, Ray Salmon, Frank Boyd; based on the character of Fatty Finn, as created by cartoonist, Syd Nicholls (1896-1977), first film to be based on a comic strip; Fatty Finn is the only comic character in Australia to have inspired two films; story concerns goat racing
Adorable Outcast, The* (Norman Dawn, 1928) aka Black Cargoes of the South Seas, action adventure
Birth of White Australia (Phil K. Walsh, 1928)** investment for the film came from the country town of Young which also seems to have been its principal audience (O'Regan: 346) drama, thriller (Verhoeven)
Caught In The Net* (Vaughan C. Marshall, 1928)
Devil's Playground, The* (Victor Bindley, 1928) "South Sea island genre"
Exploits Of The Emden, The** (Ken G. Hall, 1928) First National Pictures, prod. wr. ed. Ken G. Hall, dp Claude C. Carter, asspro Victor Bindley; dramatised history: reconstruction of the 9 November 1914 battle Sydney vs Emden which the latter lost
Far Paradise, The** (Paulette McDonagh, 1928) MCD Productions, wr. Paulette McDonagh, dp Jack Fletcher, prod. manager & art dir. Phyllis McDonagh; Marie Lorraine [Isobel McDonagh], Gaston Mervale, Arthur McLaglen; romance; 7000 ft; tho Pike & Cooper show this as incomplete, the DVD copy available in the NFSA is shown in the catalog with a duration of 75 minutes, which suggests that this is the complete film
Menace, The** (Cyril J. Sharpe, 1928) man discovers his wife is a drug addict
Romance Of Runnibede, The* (Scott R. Dunlap, 1928)
Shattered Illusion, The* (A. G. Harbrow, 1928)
Spirit Of Gallipoli, The* (Keith Gategood, William Green, 1928)
Trooper O'Brien* (John Gavin, 1928)
Cheaters, The* (Paulette McDonagh, 1930) wr. Paulette McDonagh; Marie Lorraine [Isabel McDonagh], Josef Bambach, Arthur Greenaway; made as a silent, with sound effects added later, so considered to be first sound film in that sense [cf. Spur Of The Moment]
Diggers* (Frank W. Thring, Pat Hanna, 1931) comic adventures of Chic (Hanna) and Joe; followed by Diggers in Blighty and Waltzing Matilda; opened 6 November 1931
Spur Of The Moment* (A. R. Harwood, 1931) talkie, static indoors melodrama; opened 26 September 1931, together with Isle Of Intrigue
Isle Of Intrigue** (A. R. Harwood, 1931) Dorothy Stanward, James Alexander, Helene Best, Darcy Kelway; pearling schooners of a trading firm are being robbed by a mysterious pirate; opened 26 September 1931
Showgirl's Luck* (Norman Dawn, 1931) aka Talkie Mad; Susan Denis, Arthur Tauchert, Arthur Clarke; comedy musical; full-length talkie; opened November (Shirley) or December (Pike) 1931
His Royal Highness* (F. W. Thring, 1932) aka His Loyal Highness; George Wallace (feature debut)
On Our Selection* (Ken G. Hall, 1932) aka Down on the Farm Cinesound Productions, prod. Bert Bailey, wr. Bert Bailey, Ken G. Hall from works of Steele Rudd, dp Walter Sully, sound Arthur Smith, Clive Cross, technical support Bert Cross; Bert Bailey, Fred MacDonald, Alfreda Bevan
Sentimental Bloke, The* (F. W. Thring, 1932) wr. C. J. Dennis; Cecil Scott, Ray Fisher, Tal Ordell; 92 min.
Diggers In Blighty* (Pat Hanna, 1933) based on sketches used in the Diggers stage show; while serving in France in 1918, Chic and Joe abscond with rum from the quartermaster's store...
Harmony Row* (F. W. Thring, 1933) comedy; George Wallace (Constable Dreadnought), Phyllis Baker (Molly); Bill Kerr (as Willie Kerr)
Hayseeds, The* (Beaumont Smith, 1933) Cecil Kellaway; characters from Smith's six silent films with the Hayseed family
In the Wake of the Bounty* (Charles Chauvel, 1933) wr. Charles Chauvel, dp Tasman Higgins, sound Arthur Smith, Clive Cross; Arthur Greenaway (narrator), Mayne Lynton (Bligh); Errol Flynn (Fletcher Christian); dramatised history, filmed Tahiti and Pitcairn
Squatter's Daughter, The* (Ken G. Hall, 1933) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Productions, wrs Gayne Dexter, E. V. Timms, play by 'Albert Edmunds' (Bert Bailey & Edmund Duggan), photography: Frank Hurley, George Malcolm; Owen Ainley, W. Lane Bayliff, Dorothy Dunkley, Jocelyn Howarth, George Lloyd, Grant Lyndsay, Fred Macdonald, Claude Turton, Katie Towers, Les Warton, John Warwick; 35 mm, 104 min. Romeo and Juliet story
Clara Gibbings* (Frank Thring, 1934) wr. Frank Harvey, dp Arthur Higgins
Man They Could Not Hang, The* (Raymond Longford, 1934) Invicta Productions, wr. Lorrie Webb from a 'dramatisation' by Rigby C. Tearle, dp George Malcolm, George Heath; Ronald Roberts, Arthur W. Sterry, Ethel Bashford, Olive Sinclair; based on true story of John Lee; 78 min.
Secret Of The Skies* (A. R. Harwood, 1934) drama
Silence of Dean Maitland, The* (Ken G. Hall, 1934) Cinesound Productions, prod. Ken G. Hall, wr. Gayne Dexter, Edmund Barclay from play by Maxwell Gray, dp Frank Hurley; John Longden (Dean Maitland), Charlotte Francis (Alma Lee), Jocelyn Howarth, Bill Kerr (Cyril Maitland Jnr); clergyman murders the father of his pregnant lover and then allows his best friend to be convicted for the crime; 97 min.
Splendid Fellows* (Beaumont Smith, 1934) Frank Leighton (as Hon. Hubert Montmorency Ralston); also promoted in NZ with the subtitle The Hayseeds at the Melbourne Centenary; Beaumont Smith's last film; buddy movie; cameo by Charles Kingsford Smith
Streets Of London, The* (F. W. Thring, 1934)
Strike Me Lucky* (Ken G. Hall, 1934) vehicle for Roy Rene (Harry Van der Sluice) as 'Mo'
Ticket In Tatts, A* (F. W. Thring, 1934)
When the Kellys Rode* (Harry Southwell, 1934)
Burgomeister, The** (Harry Southwell, 1935) aka Hypnotised [previously made as The Bells]
Heritage* (Charles Chauvel, 1935) Expeditionary Films, wr. Charles Chauvel, dp Tasman Higgins, Arthur Higgins, asspro Ann Wynn [Elsa Chauvel], sound Alan Mill; early days of colonial Australia; 94 min.
Flying Doctor, The* (Miles Mander, 1936)
Orphan of the Wilderness* (Ken G. Hall, 1936) aka Wild Innocence; family story about a kangaroo
Uncivilized* (Charles Chauvel, 1936) Expeditionary Films, wr. Charles Chauvel, E. V. Timms, dp Tasman Higgins, music Lindley Evans, assdir Frank Coffey, Ann Wynn [Elsa Chauvel]; Dennis Hoey, Margot Rhys, Ashton Jarry; adventure; woman kidnapped by Aborigines led by white man; northern Qld; 82 min.
White Death* (Edwin G. Bowen, 1936) wr. Frank Harvey; Zane Grey financed and starred; adventure about great white shark
Avenger, The* (A. R. Harwood, 1937) crime melodrama; 55 min.
Lovers and Luggers* (Ken G. Hall, 1937) aka Vengeance of the Deep (US title)
Mystery Island* (J. A. Lipman, 1937) thriller
Phantom Gold* (Rupert Kathner, 1937) Harry Lasseter's reef
Tall Timbers* (Ken G. Hall, 1937) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Productions, wr. Frank Harvey from Frank Hurley story, dp George Heath; 89 mins., 35 mm.; Frank Leighton, Shirley Ann Richards, Aileen Britton, Campbell Copelin, Letty Craydon, Peter Dunstan, Frank Harvey, George Lloyd, Joe Valli, Ronald Whelan
Below The Surface** (Rupert Kathner, 1938) two miners compete for an important coal contract
Broken Melody, The* (Ken G. Hall, 1938) prod. Ken G. Hall, Cinesound Features; wr. Frank Harvey from the novel by F J Thwaites; dp George Heath, ed. William Shepherd, 89 mins; Lloyd Hughes (John Ainsworth), Diana Du Cane (Ann Brady)
Let George Do It* (Ken G. Hall, 1938) aka In the Nick of Time; George Wallace; speedboat chase on Sydney Harbour; 52 min. OR 79 min.
Typhoon Treasure* (Noel Monkman, 1938) aka The Perils Of Pakema Reef
Come Up Smiling* (William Freshman, 1939) aka Ants In His Pants; prod. Ken G. Hall; Will Mahoney (Barney O'Hara), Shirley Ann Richards (Eve Cameron); 77 mins.
Gone to the Dogs* (Ken G. Hall, 1939) George Wallace; comedy; greyhound
Mr Chedworth Steps Out* (Ken G. Hall, 1939) Cecil Callaway
Seven Little Australians* (Arthur Greville Collins, 1939)
40000 Horsemen* (Charles Chauvel, 1940) Forty Thousand Horsemen, wr. Elsa Chauvel, dp George Heath; Grant Taylor, Betty Bryant, Chips Rafferty, Pat Twohill, Michael Pate's debut film - as an extra; WW1
Wings Of Destiny* (Rupert Kathner, 1940) dp Arthur Higgins; espionage thriller
Power And The Glory, The* (Noel Monkman, 1941) aka The Invaders; action
That Certain Something* (Clarence G. Badger, 1941) Megan Edwards, Thelma Grigg, Georgie Sterling, Lou Vernon; film director looks for a girl with 'it' [Badger also made the film called It (1927) with Clara Bow
Yank In Australia, A* (Alf Goulding, 1942)
Rats Of Tobruk, The* (Charles Chauvel, 1944) Chamun Productions, wr. Charles & Elsa Chauvel, dp George Heath, music Lindley Evans, sound Jack Bruce, L. J. Stuart; Grant Taylor, Peter Finch, Chips Rafferty; war; 95 min.
Red Sky At Morning* (Arthur Hartney, 1944) aka Escape At Dawn in 1951 re-release; play by Dymphna Cusack; dp Rupert Kathner; historical romance set 1812; 55 min.
Harvest Gold* (Kevin Murphy, 1945) drama; publicity for Caltex
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