Australasian Cinema > directors > Monte Luke (1885-1962)

Monte Luke

Director, actor, cinematographer

[For Australia (1915)] opened at Waddington's Grand Theatre, Sydney, on 6 December 1915 but it did not fare well commercially. The director, Monte Luke, was born in 1885 at Geelong, Victoria. He worked extensively in Australian theatre as an actor but gradually developed an interest in still photography. He was appointed official photographer for J C Williamson, taking portraits of stage stars and publicity shots of plays in production, and was placed in charge of their film operation in 1915 after Fred Niblo's departure. He directed three features for Williamson before the production program was abandoned. Luke thereafter ran his own photographic studio and became well known for his portraits of society figures and visiting celebrities. He died in Sydney in 1962. Pike & Cooper: 56.

Monte Luke's evident discomfort in handling film production was confirmed later in the year: after the completion of Seven Keys To Baldpate, Williamson sent Luke to Hollywood to study production; after witnessing work on D W Griffith's Intolerance, he returned, overwhelmed, to recommend that Williamson should abandon production and leave it to the Hollywood experts. 'The Firm' followed his advice and did nothing to revive their film production program. Pike & Cooper: 63.

Within Our Gates (Frank Harvey, 1915) aka Deeds That Won Gallipoli J. C. Williamson, wr. W. J. Lincoln, dp Monte Luke; Cyril Mackay, Leslie Victor, Frank Harvey; 6 (?) reels

For Australia (Monte Luke, 1915) dp Maurice Bertel

Within The Law (Monte Luke, 1916) J. C. Williamson, wr. W. J. Lincoln from the play by Bayard Veiller, dp Maurice Bertel; Muriel Starr; 4 reels

Seven Keys To Baldpate** (Monte Luke, 1916) J.C. Williamson. wr. Alex C Butler, from the play by George M Cohan, based on the novel by Earl Derr Biggers, dp Maurice Bertel; Dorothy Brunton, J. Plumpton Wilson, Agnes Keogh, Alex C. Butler, Gerald Harcourt, Charles Villiers, James Hughes; 4 reels

Monk And The Woman, The (Franklyn Barrett, 1917) 18C France; caused Catholic controversy; 6000ft, 66 min. Monte Luke (the king)

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