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Lottie Lyell

lyellCharlotte Edith Cox, 23 February 1890 - 21 December 1925 (aged 35, of tuberculosis)

Lottie Lyell is best known as an actress, but, as Raymond Longford's partner on a large number of films, she also participated many other ways, most importantly perhaps as scenario-writer, as which she is credited for a dozen films.

Longford (1878-1959) could not marry Lottie Lyell because his wife would not consent to a divorce - until, ironically, after Lyell died. She was his partner in all their work until then, from the first film they made together, The Fatal Wedding (1911, the title is, perhaps, also ironical). Although he is always credited as director, it is generally accepted that Lottie Lyell was an equal partner.

Her exact contribution to Longford's work can never be properly assessed; certainly she worked with him variously as actress, writer, associate director, art director and co-producer when his most important films were made, and the loss of her support was possibly a key factor in his creative decline after her death. Pike & Cooper: 19.

The AACTA award for lifetime achievement is called the Longford Lyell Award.

As writer

Australia Calls (Raymond Longford, 1913) Spencer's Pictures, wr. C. A. Jeffries, John Barr; dp Ernest Higgins, Tasman Higgins, Arthur Higgins; racist film warning of the Yellow Peril; 4000 ft, 44 min.

Mutiny of the Bounty, The (Raymond Longford, 1916) Aust/NZ; wr. Raymond Longford, Lottie Lyell, dp Franklyn Barrett, A. O. Segerberg, Charles Newham; George Cross (Captain Bligh), John Storm (George III), D. L. Dalziel (Sir Joseph Banks), Wilton Power (Fletcher Christian); no footage exists; 5000ft

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

Ginger Mick (Raymond Longford, 1920) Southern Cross Feature Film Company, wr. Lottie Lyell (?) Raymond Longford, from verse narrative The Moods of Ginger Mick by C. J. Dennis, dp Arthur Higgins, 5500 ft; Gilbert Emery, Arthur Tauchert, Lottie Lyell, Jack Tauchert, Queenie Cross, George Hotspur

On Our Selection (Raymond Longford, 1920) wr. Raymond Longford from stories by Steele Rudd, dp Arthur Higgins, titles Syd Nicholls, 6890 ft; Percy Walshe, Beatrice Esmond, Tal Ordell; comedy

Blue Mountains Mystery, The (Raymond Longford, Lottie Lyell, 1921) Southern Cross Feature Film Company, prod. E. and Dan Carroll, wr. Lottie Lyell from novel The Mount Marunga Mystery by Harrison Owen, dp Arthur Higgins, 6000 ft; Marjories Osborne, John Faulkner, Vivian Edwards; murder mystery; 66 min.

Rudd's New Selection (Raymond Longford, 1921) wr. Raymond Longford from stories by Steele Rudd, dp Arthur Higgins; J. P. O'Neill, Ada Clyde, Tal Ordell, Lottie Lyell, Charlotte Beaumont

Dinkum Bloke, The (Raymond Longford, 1923) aka Gentleman in Mufti, Longford-Lyell Australian Productions, wr. Raymond Longford, Lottie Lyell, dp Lacey Percival; Arthur Tauchert, Lottie Lyell

Australia Calls (Raymond Longford, 1923) Commonwealth Immigration Office/British Empire Exhibition Commission; wr. Lottie Lyell, dp Arthur Higgins, 4000 ft; semi-documentary: 'the experiences in New South Wales of a successful immigrant'; Ernest Idiens

Bushwhackers, The (Raymond Longford, 1925) Longford-Lyell Productions, wr. Raymond Longford, Lottie Lyell, dp Arthur Higgins

Pioneers, The (Raymond Longford, 1926) wr. Lottie Lyell from novel by Katharine Susannah Prichard, Arthur Higgins, 8000 ft; Virginia Beresford, William Thornton, Augustus Neville

As actress

The Romantic Story Of Margaret Catchpole** (Raymond Longford, 1911) Spencer's Pictures, dp Ernest Higgins; Lottie Lyell (Margaret Catchpole), Raymond Longford, Augustus Neville, Sybil Wilde, William Coulter, E. Melville, Fred Hardy, Walter Vincent, Fred Twitcham, Jack Goodall, J. Howard, H. Parker, J. Eldridge, C. Swain, Arno, Mr Spencer's dapple grey horse; 3000 ft (?)

1923 Gentleman in Mufti aka The Dinkum Bloke

1921 Rudd's New Selection

1920 Ginger Mick

1919 The Sentimental Bloke

1918 The Woman Suffers

1917 The Church and the Woman

1916 The Mutiny of the Bounty

1916 A Maori Maid's Love

1915 Ma Hoggan's New Boarder

1915 We'll Take Her Children in Amongst Our Own

1914 Taking His Chance

1914 The Swagman's Story

1914 Trooper Campbell

1914 The Silence of Dean Maitland

1913 'Neath Austral Skies

1913 Pommy Arrives in Australia

1913 Australia Calls

1912 The Midnight Wedding

1912 The Tide of Death

1911 Queen of the Smugglers

1911 The Convict Hero

1911 The Fatal Wedding

1911 Captain Starlight, or Gentleman of the Road

1911 The Bushranger's Bride

References and Links

Nash, Margot 2015, 'Lottie Lyell: the silent work of an early Australian scenario writer', Screening the Past.

Wikipedia page for the Longford Lyell Award

Garry Gillard | New: 7 November, 2015 | Now: 15 August, 2020