The Sentimental Bloke (1919)

Sentimental Bloke, The (Raymond Longford, 1919) Arthur Tauchert, Lottie Lyell, Gilbert Emery, CJ Dennis

One evening I saw a 1919 film and finished a 1933 book, in both of which I read the expression ‘got the hump’ which, afaik, has disappeared from Australian usage since WW2. The film is Lottie Lyell & Raymond Longford’s, based on CJ Dennis’s Songs of a Sentimental Bloke (A&R, 1915). In my family copy of the 1932 reprint (which cost 2/9) the glossary says that ‘the hump’ is ‘a fit of depression’. The other book is John K. Ewers’ Money Street, which I’ve been getting around to reading for most of my life, knowing that the eponymous street was only a couple of miles from where I grew up.

The fortuitous survival of a single nitrate print enabled the film to be preserved at the National Film and Sound Archive in the 1950s. Its subsequent rediscovery by film societies and other groups brought Longford some belated recognition in his old age. The film is internationally regarded as a classic, and interest in it is such that, in Australia alone, non-theatrical film libraries have dozens of prints in constant circulation. Pike & Cooper: 91.

A talkie with this title was directed by Frank W. Thring, and released in 1932.


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