This fragment from The Story of the Kelly Gang shows Constable Fitzpatrick visiting the homestead of Kate Kelly. Fitzpatrick attempts to kiss Kate Kelly and in the scuffle Ned Kelly shoots Fitzpatrick in the wrist. As the Kelly gang escape on horseback Kate Kelly retrieves Fitzpatrick’s weapon and holds him at gunpoint.
Charles Tait was an experienced theatrical producer, and the style of acting reflects the popular style of melodramatic gesture. Even so, a lot is communicated here – Constable Fitzpatrick’s haughty stance at the beginning gives way to plain old lust. Ned shoots the policeman quite deliberately, reaching for his pistol as soon as he has knocked him down. Joe Byrne wants to sink the boot in to the man on the ground, but Ned is already thinking of a getaway. The policeman appears to look at the director, as if for instructions, as he’s waiting on the ground.
Note how the camera moves left and right slightly during the fight, to keep the action central. The rather abrupt cut shows us that the Constable is not so badly hurt, as Kate Kelly holds him at gunpoint. A second cut moves the camera much closer to the constable and the gun-toting Kate, possibly to accentuate the comedy of a woman holding a gun on a policeman.