Satan in Sydney

Satan in Sydney (Beaumont Smith, 1918) Beaumont Smith's Productions, wr. Beaumont Smith; Elsie Prince, George Edwards, Charles Villiers; 6 reels

A marked change from Smith's customary Hayseeds farce, this sensationalist melodrama was made in Sydney and scheduled for release at the Lyric Theatre on 15 July 1918. Perhaps Smith anticipated censorship troubles and intended to maximise the clash by staging his encounter with the police in public, but deliberately or not, he neglected to seek a clearance to screen the film before the season began. Attracted by lurid advertisements in the morning's press, the police stopped the screening after the first 11 am session. The District Licensing Inspector, J Fullerton, viewed the film and found it generally salacious and violent. ... Censorship apart, the press had mixed reactions to the film. A critic in the Lone Hand 2 September 1918, condemned it as 'a poor production with a drab plot of the penny novelette type... The cast is exceedingly weak'; but Australian Variety, 26 June 1918, found it 'a pleasant change from the run of war dramas we've been accustomed to lately'. Pike & Cooper: 80.


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