A Girl of the Bush

A Girl of the Bush (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

Although based on an original screenplay, the film is firmly in the squatter's-daughter tradition: the heroine rides and works as the equal of the men, yet at other times displays a more conventional form of screen femininity, for example, bathing demurely in the nude in a bush pool (actually wearing a flesh-coloured bathing costume). Comic relief, too, comes from a time-honoured source, the parodying of the central love interest by the 'low life' of the station, in this case not Aborigines but Chinese, with a Chinese laundrymaid (played by a white actress) pursued relentlessly by the cook, an old man repeatedly abused by the station hands as a 'damned yeller streak of misery'. Pike & Cooper: 105.


New: 9 November, 2012 | Now: 23 March, 2013 | garrygillard[at]gmail.com