Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Here Comes Santa (1929)

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clip Santa lands at Farm Cove education content clip 1, 3

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

This clip from a silent, black-and-white cinema advertisement for Anthony Hordern & Sons shows Santa landing on Sydney Harbour by seaplane and being rowed ashore to Lady Macquarie’s Chair where he is welcomed by a large crowd.

Curator’s notes

This clip from a 1929 cinema advertisement imitates a newsreel format. This subtly gives the sense of impartial reporting of a good deed. The clip begins with a title card that introduces the story, then intertitles are used throughout the advertisement to introduce a new location or scene.

The partly built Sydney Harbour Bridge, then known as Sydney’s North Shore Bridge, can be seen in the background.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This silent black-and-white clip shows a small seaplane coming in to land at Farm Cove, Sydney Harbour. The Harbour Bridge can be seen under construction in the background. After the seaplane is secured to an anchor rope, Santa Claus climbs into a rubber dinghy and is rowed to shore where a crowd is waiting to greet him. A close-up shows him being helped ashore and waving to the crowd. The clip, which is introduced by an intertitle, is from a cinema advertisement for Anthony Hordern and Sons department store.

Educational value points

  • This clip is an early example of the use of 'association’ to promote a product or service. Advertisers seek to associate their product with a positive cause or a particular person or image to make the produce seem as desirable as that person or thing. Hordern and Sons sought to enhance its reputation through association with positive, commendable people and causes, such as Santa Claus and, later in the same advertisement, a highly respected children’s hospital.
  • The visit of Santa Claus was designed to promote Anthony Hordern and Sons, once one of the largest department stores in Sydney. In the 1920s, the firm had more than 3,000 employees and a huge mail-order department. Its New Palace Emporium, which opened in 1905 and occupied an entire city block, claimed to be the 'universal provider’ and was said to sell 'everything from a needle to an anchor’. It closed in the 1970s and the building was demolished in 1985.
  • Hordern and Sons was a family business that grew from a draper’s store established by Anthony Hordern (1819–76) and his brother Lebbeus (1826–81) in the mid-1840s. Samuel Hordern (1876–1976), grandson of the founder, directed the company for more than 50 years and was well known for his philanthropy. The company was taken over by Waltons in 1969 and delisted in 1970.
  • The clip is from an advertisement in the format and style of an Australian silent newsreel. In the 1920s, newsreels were usually shown before the feature film in cinemas, and newsreel production was a thriving industry in Australia. Several newsreels would be linked together to form a kind of magazine presentation of local and overseas events, and some theatrettes showed only newsreels, which were played continuously, usually on an hourly cycle.
  • Farm Cove is a historic site in Sydney where, on 26 January 1788, Governor Phillip established the colony of New South Wales. Before 1788 it was used by the Indigenous Cadigal people as an initiation ground, and was known as Woccanmagully. Queen Elizabeth II landed there on her first visit to Australia in 1954. Today it is a popular site for locals and tourists, with the Opera House at one end and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair at the other. It is also the location of the Botanic Gardens, founded in 1816.
  • The clip shows the southern pylon and part of the steel span of the partially built Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was intended to provide an important transport link between northern and southern Sydney. Construction of the Bridge had begun in 1924 and, on its opening in 1932, it was considered to be the epitome of modern bridge design and engineering. Built by the British firm Dorman Long and Co, its construction was made possible by advances in the production of prefabricated steel and reinforced concrete.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

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