Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles from the 1930s

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1930

The 1930 Australian XI: Winners of the Ashes spoken word – 1930

Members of the victorious 1930 Australian cricket team talk about the Ashes winning tour.

A 5000 Mile Tour Through Central Australia documentary – 1930

Clearly, exploring Australia’s interior back in the 1930s was very challenging.

Archibald Family: Noorong Gazette: Parts XXI - XXIV home movie – c1930

The Archibalds were a successful business family who had interests in the milling industry in Queensland and New South Wales.

The Arrival of Miss Amy Johnson in Brisbane newsreel – 1930

In this silent newsreel footage, British aviator Amy Johnson arrives in Brisbane on the final leg of her solo flight between England and Australia in 1930.

Australian Navy: Destroyers documentary – c1930

The capacity of Royal Australian Navy destroyers to carry and launch torpedoes in the 1930s is demonstrated here.

Berlei Cinema Advertisement: It Isn’t Done advertisement – 1930

The art deco interiors with shaped mirrors, door frames and seating all align with Berlei’s reputation for quality and beauty.

Browne, George: Blue Mountains home movie – c1930

This family holiday footage shows landmarks such as Katoomba Falls, the Sublime Point Lookout, Orphan Rock and the Three Sisters rock formation.

Chas E Blanks: Families at Seaside, Sydney Harbour advertisement – c1930

This ad is filmed in a home movie style, and features the producer’s own family.

The Cremation of a Balinese Chief at the Hotel Bali home movie – c1930

This Balinese cremation was apparently the first such ceremony to be witnessed and filmed by a white man.

Don Bradman in England newsreel – 1930

Don Bradman is interviewed in 1930. This informal interview also gives him the chance to effectively demonstrate his batting technique.

Farrow, H: Victorian and South Australian Holiday Scenes home movie – c1930

This 16mm home movie captures a number of holiday scenes and places including ice and snow in Mount Buffalo, Victoria.

Henshall, Mr: Australian Cricketers Visit Ceylon, Naples, Switzerland and Practise at Lords home movie – 1930

This rare home movie captures informal scenes of Don Bradman and Australia’s 1930 touring cricket team, as filmed by the manager.

Sellex Crockery: Red Riding Hood advertisement – c1930

This appeals to the ‘pester power’ of children by using an animated cartoon to promote Sellex products.

White, AR: Tin Mining in Malaya home movie – c1930

Australians have engaged with the Asia-Pacific region through travel and enterprise for many decades, but moving image records like this one from the first half of the 20th century are not common.

1931

The Alfred, Melbourne: One of Australia’s Greatest Hospitals advertisement – 1931

This four-minute cinema advertisement made by Australian Sound Films promotes the activities of the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in order to raise funds.

Along the Road to Gundagai music – 1931

This is a famous recording of one of Australia’s most popular songs.

Athol Tier as Napoleon historical – c1931

Athol Tier’s performance as Napoleon was one of the many routines filmed for the Efftee Entertainers series of variety shorts.

Australasian Gazette – Mermaids Swim Well newsreel – c1931

This newsreel from approximately 1931 shows highlights of the Bondi Ladies’ Annual Carnival at the local Bondi Baths, including excerpts from various races.

The Cheaters (sound version) feature film – 1931

Paula Marsh decides to end her career as a thief after falling in love with Lee Travers, son of a wealthy businessman.

Construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge documentary – 1931

Looking back now, the lack of safety equipment used during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is shocking.

Diggers feature film – 1931

Pat Hanna first told stories from his time in World War I as part of a travelling comedy troupe, then adapted the material into film.

Efftee Film Productions Congratulates Miss Dorothy Fricke newsreel – 1931

This silent newsreel item shows the debutante celebration of Miss Dorothy Fricke, held at Chelsea Memorial Hall in Melbourne on 24 August 1931.

Efftee Studio Opening in Melbourne: Speech by Frank Forde historical – 1931

This short film from 1931 records the opening of Frank Thring Senior’s Efftee Film Studios and the screening of the first ‘all-Australian talkie program’. Forde expresses optimism about the future of Australian film making, with a positive impact on local jobs and the presentation of ‘typical Australian characters’ onscreen.

FW Thring Introduces the Stars advertisement – 1931

In this short introductory speech, Thring proudly announces to the audience that the film program they are about to see is completely Australian made.

George Wallace: Australia’s Premier Comedian historical – 1931

This screen test by seasoned vaudeville comic George Wallace led to roles in several feature films.

Jack O’Hagan: Vocalist Composer historical – 1931

Multi-talented artist Jack O’Hagan performs five songs for Frank Thring’s series of variety shorts, Efftee Entertainers, including 'The Road to Gundagai’.

Melbourne Chinese Orchestra Selections historical – 1931

Melbourne’s Chinese Orchestra perform at His Majesty’s Theatre as part of Frank Thring’s Efftee Entertainers.

Melbourne Today documentary – 1931

Probably the first ‘talkie’ documentary made about Melbourne – in 1931, films with sound were still relatively new in Australia.

The Mighty Conqueror documentary – 1931

Made only a year before Phar Lap’s death, The Mighty Conqueror boasts some of the last moving images of Phar Lap in Australia both on and off the track.

Miss Minnie Love in Impressions: Maurice Chevalier historical – c1931

Australian performer Minnie Love mimics the popular French comedian and singer Maurice Chevalier for Frank Thring’s Efftee Entertainers series.

Rinso Soap Powder: Then Came Happiness advertisement – 1931

Helen, worn out by the drudge of washing day, is introduced to Rinso by a girlfriend during a bridge night.

Siege of the South documentary – 1931

Frank Hurley documents Australia’s rich history of scientific exploration of the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Stan Ray and George Moon Jnr: Specialty Dancers historical – 1931

Entertainers Stan Ray and George Moon Jnr perform a tap dancing routine on one of the stages inside His Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.

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.

That’s Cricket documentary – c1931

A featurette directed by Ken G Hall promoting cricket as the game that 'helps unite the Empire’ and is important to Australian identity.

The Trail of the ‘Roo documentary – 1931

The Trail of the 'Roo is one of a handful of documentary featurettes made by the McDonagh sisters, pioneers of Australia’s early motion picture industry.

Victorian Police Radio Patrol sponsored film – c1931

This short dramatised scenario from 1931 demonstrates how wireless technology and morse radio clearly improve the ability of Victorian police to do their jobs.

1932

Archibald Family: Family Scenes and Outings in Sydney home movie – c1932

Much like a family album, this home movie collection records events over a period of time. From baby shots in the backyard, to outings at the beach.

A Day in a Biscuit Factory sponsored film – 1932

While not the film’s primary intention, it offers an interesting examination of the division of labour and factory-line production processes in a 1930s biscuit factory.

Farey: Opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge home movie – 1932

Lesley Francis Farey captured what it would have been like to be in the crowd at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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.

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.

His Royal Highness feature film – 1932

The performance of George Wallace, star and writer, is a road map of comic techniques from the passing vaudeville era.

Holidays in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Canton, Java home movie – c1932

These scenes of colonial-era South-East Asia are an early example of actuality footage which captures Australian perspectives of the region.

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.

The Kinema News Reel newsreel – 1932

This newsreel offers a glimpse of the English cricket team that went on to play the famous 'Bodyline’ series against Australia later in the 1932-33 season.

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.

The Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge newsreel – 1932

This newsreel footage with on-the-spot commentary contains unique coverage of the official opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday 19 March 1932.

Provincial Cities of Australia: Ballarat, Victoria documentary – c1932

Frank Thring was an enthusiastic supporter of talking pictures and a great believer in their potential to bolster the Australian film industry.

Revolution by Referendum: Political advertisement by Mr Costello advertisement – c1932

One of many activists or political aspirants who have proposed socialist visions for the country’s future over its recent history.

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