Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

All titles produced by Cinesound Productions

37 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

0-9

The 8th Wonder of the World sponsored film – 1973

This documentary coincided with the official opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 and looks at the architecture, art and functions of the building.

A

All Quiet on the Surfie-Rocker Front newsreel – 1963

A short newsreel item from 1963, outlining police efforts to curb gang violence between outer suburban ‘rockers’ and surfers at Manly beach.

B

The Broken Melody feature film – 1938

A film with music rather than a musical, The Broken Melody is one of the few films of the 1930s that tries to depict the Depression’s effect on real people.

C

Cinesound Review: That Mersey Sound: Beatles at the Stadium newsreel – 1964

This newsreel special of the 1964 Beatles tour captures footage of the band in Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand, concert excerpts and the attendant 'Beatlemania’.

Cinesound Varieties historical – 1934

This variety show originally ran for about an hour, but only a few segments survive.

D

Dad and Dave Come to Town feature film – 1938

The question this fish-out-of-water comedy is really asking is whether Australians have the confidence to be modern in the context of the wider world of 1938.

Dad Rudd, MP feature film – 1940

Dad Rudd, MP truly signals the end of an era, the last gasp of the cycle of rural comedies featuring yokels and livestock that went back 30 years in Australian cinema.

F

Fighting Blood documentary – 1951

This Cinesound documentary highlights the talents of Australian fighters, including Aboriginal boxers Alfie Clay, Elley Bennett and Dave Sands.

Fire Guardians documentary – 1932

For this eccentric dramatised documentary on the history of firefighting, Frank Hurley dressed members of the NSW Fire Brigade in all manner of period costume.

G

Ghosts of Port Arthur documentary – c1932

A ‘novelty travel talk’ by Ken G Hall in 1930 has other resonances today: violent encounters after European settlement and the horror of the Port Arthur massacre.

Give Us This Day advertisement – 1943

This food rationing advertisement takes its title from a phrase in the Lord’s Prayer ‘give us this day our daily bread’.

Gone to the Dogs feature film – 1939

The second comedy that George Wallace made with Cinesound features a musical interlude with dogs, children, dancing girls and backing singers on bicycles!

I

It Isn’t Done feature film – 1937

1937 was Cinesound’s golden year – the studio’s films now boasted wittier scripts, more attention to performance, and a series of strong leading players.

J

Jewel of the Pacific documentary – 1932

In this 1932 travelogue shot and narrated by Frank Hurley, rat tails bring a reward of sixpence each and Lord Howe Island locals join the hunt for the pests.

K

King of the Surf sponsored film – 1964

In 1964, ten of the world’s best surfers converge on Manly Beach to fight for the title of world champion.

Kokoda Front Line! newsreel – 1942

This iconic and Academy Award-winning newsreel shot by Damien Parer contains some of the most recognised images of Australian troops in the Second World War.

L

Let George Do It feature film – 1938

Although reliant on the comic sketches Wallace made famous in his vaudeville act, the film is pushed along by the thrilling outdoor action sequences Ken Hall knew how to direct.

Lovers and Luggers feature film – 1937

This entertaining film is packed with action, romance and comedy — the cocktail Ken G Hall’s usually offers — but also sophistication.

M

Mr Chedworth Steps Out feature film – 1939

Cecil Kellaway was probably the best actor that Ken G Hall ever worked with. He returned from Hollywood to play the titular little man who learns to assert himself.

N

A Nation is Built documentary – 1938

This sprawling and patriotic documentary uses actuality footage, historical re-enactments, fictionalised scenes and propaganda to chronicle Australia’s development and progress as a nation.

O

On Our Selection feature film – 1932

This film was technically innovative and, when it opened in 1932, a box office sensation, rejuvenating the local film industry.

Orphan of the Wilderness feature film – 1936

Boxing contests between men and kangaroos, as shown in this film, were a frequent ‘attraction’ in travelling tent shows.

Overland Adventure: The Story of the 1954 Redex Reliability Trial documentary – 1954

Jack Murray earned the nickname ‘Gelignite Jack’ through his habit of blowing up outback toilets, livening up his entrance to towns along the route.

S

Searchlight on Japan documentary – c1948

Made by Ken G Hall, Searchlight on Japan focuses on Japan under Allied occupation at the end of the Second World War.

Service in the Sun sponsored film – 1957

In 1956, members of the American and Hawaiian surf lifesaving teams demonstrate the latest surfing techniques on Bondi Beach.

The Silence of Dean Maitland feature film – 1934

Renowned filmmaker Ken G Hall was concerned that this film would incite religious anger, but it was a smash hit instead.

Silver City sponsored film – 1936

This film is narrated with Frank Hurley’s typical flamboyance and presents mining as instrumental to maintaining the livelihood of over 100,000 Australians.

Smithy feature film – 1946

Smithy was Charles 'Bud’ Tingwell’s first film. With characteristic modesty, he later said he won the part as a control tower officer because he supplied his own uniform.

South-west Pacific sponsored film – 1943

During the Second World War, Chips Rafferty appeared in two short documentaries made for the federal government to support the domestic war effort.

The Squatter’s Daughter feature film – 1933

Flammable nitrate film fed the fires in the spectacular bushfire finale to Ken G Hall’s The Squatter’s Daughter. The fires rapidly got out of control during filming but no one was hurt.

Strike Me Lucky feature film – 1934

The Holocaust made vaudeville star Roy Rene’s Jewish caricatures unacceptable in later years, but this wasn’t the case in 1934.

Sydney Tramways historical – c1928

This footage demonstrates the relationship between the growing city population of Sydney in the 1920s and the developing public transport system.

T

Tall Timbers feature film – 1937

The finale, in which a whole hillside of trees are felled, was shot as a miniature in the studio after repeated attempts on location.

Thar She Blows documentary – c1931

A short documentary about a whale hunt, including the dissection of the carcass and the conversion of blubber to oil.

Thoroughbred feature film – 1936

The ending of this film led to allegations of plagiarism, because it was almost identical to the 1934 film, Broadway Bill.

Thrill of the Surf documentary – 1949

This short Cinesound documentary from Ken G Hall boasts beautifully filmed visuals, with surfers seen in silhouette and sunlight bouncing off the water.

Treasures of Katoomba sponsored film – 1936

Frank Hurley’s sense of adventure and eye for landscape composition is evident in this charming travelogue promoting tourism in the Blue Mountains.