Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

All historical

67 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year prev 1 2 next

A

Athol Tier as Napoleon c1931

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

The Australian Flying Corps in France, England and Palestine 1919

A silent film depicting pilots and crew of the Australian Flying Corps, precursor to the RAAF, in training and at war in 1918 in France and the Middle East.

The Australians at Messines 1917

Silent footage by Herbert Baldwin, Australia’s first official war photographer, of the Battle of Messines in Belgium, June 1917.

The Australians’ Final Campaign in 1918 c1919

A compilation film covering Australian forces on the Western Front in the final year of the First World War.

B

Bapaume to Bullecourt 1917

Silent footage of Australian soldiers entering Bapaume, in March 1917, pursuing German troops as they withdraw to the Hindenburg Line.

Boer War Transvaal Contingent 1899

Using a hand-cranked Lumiere Cinematographe, photographer Frederick Charles Wills captured the Queensland contingents departing for the Boer War.

Boxing 1908: Johnson vs Burns 1908

The Boxing Day fight between Canadian Tommy Burns and African American Jack Johnson drew an impressive crowd of 20,000 people.

Building Construction 1899

The official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills, films a building construction site in 1899.

C

Chez les Sauvages Australiens 1917

An engaging and respectful insight into Aboriginal people’s culture and their interaction with the filmmaking process, made in 1917.

Cinesound Varieties 1934

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

Cockatoo Island: HMAS Success Launching 1984

The HMAS Success was ultimately the last ship to be built on Cockatoo Island before the dockyard closed in 1992.

Cockatoo Island: Newsreel Film of Dockyard Activities c1939

The largest island in Sydney Harbour became the major shipbuilding and dockyard facility for the Pacific during the Second World War, following the fall of Singapore.

D

Darnley Islanders Pay Tribute 1899

Early footage documenting a visit to the Torres Strait by the Queensland Home Secretary, the Hon. Justin FG Foxton, and his wife.

Darwin c1926 c1926

This historical and cultural record of Darwin in the 1920s includes valuable footage of the city’s environment and its multicultural population.

Dipping Sheep 1899

This short clip shows sheep being dipped in arsenic on a Queensland farm in 1899.

E

Efftee Studio Opening in Melbourne: Speech by Frank Forde 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.

Empire Day Pageant c1915

This is a silent actuality fragment from around 1915 and shows people celebrating 'Empire Day’ in full costume, apparently in a small country town. The estimated date of the footage comes from the stock dates marked on the film fragments – one method used to date audiovisual material held at the National Film and Sound Archive.

F

Fighting the Flames 1909

Footage of the Adelaide Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1909 featuring rescue and resuscitation demonstrations by firefighters.

Footscray 1911 c1911

One of the earliest moving image recordings of Footscray, this footage was screened to locals a week later at the Federal Hall in Nicholson Street.

Footscray 1971 1971

Shot by prominent film lover and collector Harry Davidson, this footage features numerous attractions of Footscray, Melbourne, in 1971.

G

George Wallace: Australia’s Premier Comedian 1931

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

Government Party Boards SS Lucinda 1899

In this actuality footage from 1899, Queensland politicians board the paddle steamer Lucinda, moored at a wharf on the Brisbane River.

I

Incidents in Connection with the Funeral of Captain Baron von Richthofen 1918

The funeral of Germany’s greatest air ace in the First World War, conducted with full military honours by a squadron of the Australian Flying Corps, in April 1918.

J

Jack O’Hagan: Vocalist Composer 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’.

K

Kerr’s Cur 1975

On 11 November 1975, on the steps of Parliament House, the dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam delivers his now-famous verdict on the day’s events.

L

The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt c1916

A short commercial recording dramatising the Australian troops arriving in Egypt, before Gallipoli.

Les Darcy vs Dave Smith for the Championship of Australia 1916

Boxing great Les Darcy trains with, and later fights, Dave Smith, his former mentor.

Les Darcy’s Last Fight: Les Darcy vs George Chip 1916

One of Australia’s best ever boxers, Les Darcy, takes on American middleweight George Chip at the Sydney Stadium.

Living Hawthorn 1906

Reminiscent of Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory, this actuality footage is filmed by Millard Johnson and William Gibson, two pioneers of Australian silent film.

Loading Horses on the SS Cornwall 1899

Horses board the SS Cornwall on 31 October 1899, prior to the ship’s departure for the Boer War.

M

The Maryborough Railway Employees’ Picnic 1938

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, thousands of children and their families would attend the Maryborough Railway’s annual employees’ picnic.

Melbourne Chinese Orchestra Selections 1931

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

Melbourne Cup 1896 1896

This film documenting the 1896 Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s oldest surviving films. A horse gallops into the foreground and blocks our view until the film’s producer gives the horse a pat on its rump.

Miss Minnie Love in Impressions: Maurice Chevalier c1931

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

N

Naming the Federal Capital of Australia 1913

Director Raymond Longford, best known for his silent feature film The Sentimental Bloke (1919), documents the naming of Australia’s capital city, Canberra, in 1913.

North Shore Steam Ferry 1899

This short clip from 1899 shows a steam ferry docking at the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf in Sydney.

O

Opening of Queensland Parliament 1899

This short clip shows the Queensland Governor arriving by horse-drawn carriage to open Queensland Parliament on 18 May 1899.

P

Patineur Grotesque 1896

This footage of a man performing on rollerskates for a crowd in a park is thought to be Australia’s earliest surviving film.

Petersham Railway Station 1899

This actuality footage from 1899 shows a train arriving at Petersham or Newtown Railway Station in Sydney’s inner west.

Prime Minister Rt Hon. WM Hughes visits Western Front 1918

At a time of great controversy, Australian Prime Minister WM (Billy) Hughes consults with his generals on the Western Front.

Q

Queen Street and Victoria Bridge 1899

Using an original Lumière Cinematographe, Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant, Henry William Mobsby, capture a busy Brisbane intersection in 1899.

R

Red Cross Activities During and After WWI c1919

The footage provides a snapshot of the daily tasks Female Red Cross volunteers performed during and after the First World War.

Roma Street Station 1899

This short clip shows a train pulling up to Roma Street Station, Brisbane in 1899.

S

Sorrento c1922

The many attractions of the Victorian seaside town of Sorrento are promoted in this 1920s footage produced for the Sorrento Progress Association.

South Sea Islanders Cutting Cane 1899

Photographer Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant, Henry William Mobsby, capture Melanesian labourers cutting cane in Queensland in 1899.

SS Katoomba Unloading 1899

This actuality footage from 1899 shows the unloading of timber spars from the SS Katoomba at a busy wharf in Brisbane.

St Kilda Esplanade c1912 c1912

This early footage of St Kilda includes the entrance to Luna Park and a jetty at the beach. The last shot, with its geometric form and structure, is like a Seurat painting.

The St Kilda Esplanade on Boxing Day c1913

A vivid snapshot of public life on a sunny day at the St Kilda esplanade and foreshore on Boxing Day 1913.

Stan Ray and George Moon Jnr: Specialty Dancers 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.

Street Scenes in Perth, Western Australia 1907

Leonard Corrick recorded actuality-style footage in places where the Corricks were currently performing.

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