Ada short film – 2001
Set in a domestic dining room in Sydney in the mid-1950s, the main focus of this autobiographical short film is the relationship between Ada and her granddaughter.
Antarctic Vigil documentary – 1952
One of the first colour films about Australian bases in the sub-Antarctic islands.
Antarctic Voyage documentary – 1956
In 1955, the Danish ship Kista Dan takes a team of Australian scientists south for a year at Mawson, Australia’s new Antarctic research station.
The Argentine Ant documentary – 1956
This short CSIRO documentary explains how to identify and eradicate the Argentine ant, a domestic and agricultural pest.
Australia Post – Olympic Post Script sponsored film – 1956
This film focuses on the telecommunications services set up especially for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. It also has footage of the sporting events that is unlikely to have survived in any other form.
Australia Post – Royal Tour sponsored film – 1954
As this program amply illustrates, an excited Australian public turned out in droves to see the Queen in 1954. For the PMG, her visit represented a coming of age.
Aya feature film – 1990
The story of a Japanese-Australian marriage in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Banners Held High documentary – 1956
The narrator, former wharfie Jock Levy, is one of the founders of the Waterside Workers’ Federation Film Unit.
Birthday Boy short film – 2004
This Oscar-nominated short, set during the Korean War, is about a boy who receives an unexpected birthday present with tragic consequences.
Black and White feature film – 2002
The film presents both the defence’s and the prosecution’s version of what might have happened in the controversial Max Stuart case, so that there is no easy path to the truth.
Blue Ice documentary – 1954
The story of the 1954 Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to set up the first Australian base on the Antarctic continent.
The Bones of Building sponsored film – 1956
This Waterside Workers’ Federation Film Unit production is a safety film for building workers, commissioned by the Building Workers’ Industrial Union.
Bye Bye Baby music – 1959
The first big hit from Australia’s original rock’n'roll star.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate – ‘A Milk Tray Day Today’ advertisement – c1955
These ads persuasively argue that Milk Tray chocolates can transform the everyday into a special occasion, satisfy desires and mend rocky relationships.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate – ‘Remember ... Cadbury’s Milk Tray’ advertisement – c1955
Cadbury’s Milk Tray brand aligns itself with relationships. These two advertisements are about building romance between fledgling couples.
Cadbury’s Crunchie – ‘Exciting Biting’ advertisement – 1959
From the start, Crunchie has attracted a younger market than Cadbury’s boxed chocolate line, so Crunchie ads like this target youth and appeal to a sense of fun.
The City of Geelong sponsored film – 1957
The Shell Film Unit made this promotional travelogue of Geelong; three years earlier, a large Shell oil refinery was built on the city’s outskirts.
Commonwealth Bank – The School Bank sponsored film – 1951
The bank commissioned this film to replace personal school visits by Bank Liaison Officers, recently cancelled because of postwar labour shortages.
Compass – Pregnant Pause television program – 2006
Four women talk about their unwanted pregnancies in the ’50s, an era before abortion was readily available. Each went on to fight for other women’s right to choose.
Corroboree music – 1950
Incorporating Indigenous themes, this Australian orchestral work achieved international recognition.
The Dance of the Eyes documentary – c1940
Skylogues’ like this one from Bali, were shown in cinemas prior to a feature film; few Australians travelled abroad then.
A Day at the Beach sponsored film – 1956
A young Australian family enjoys a day at the beach.
The Daylight Moon: A Portrait of the Poet Les Murray documentary – 1991
World-renowned Australian poet Les Murray reflects on his life and work.
The Devil’s Playground feature film – 1976
Both writer Thomas Keneally and director Fred Schepisi spent time in a Catholic seminary, the world explored in this drama.
The Eyes Have It advertisement – 1958
This Australian Road Safety Council advertisement is built around the wide appeal of all-round cricketer Keith Miller, and draws analogies between cricket and driving.
Eyes Right sponsored film – c1950
A short public awareness film about the importance of eye health. It explains how our eyes function and how to protect them.
The Felt Hat short film – 1951
Arguably the first real attempt at film drama made in South Australia, The Felt Hat draws on 1940s crime fiction and Hollywood film noir to good effect.
Fighting Blood documentary – 1951
This Cinesound documentary highlights the talents of Australian fighters, including Aboriginal boxers Alfie Clay, Elley Bennett and Dave Sands.
Four’s a Crowd documentary – 1957
Four’s a Crowd comically portrays four types of workers in the waterfront industry – Glass-arm Harry, Tiddly Pete, Nick-away Ned and Ron the Roaster.
From Sand to Celluloid – Two Bob Mermaid short film – 1996
In this visually stunning short film set in the 1950s, a fair-skinned Aboriginal girl gains access to the local swimming pool where Aboriginal people are legally denied access.
General Motors Holden – Australia’s Ideal Family Car advertisement – c1957
This goes to great lengths to reiterate the key features on which Holden built its reputation – economy, dependability, performance, styling and comfort.
General Motors Holden – FE Holden: The Average Man advertisement – 1956
This is one of GMH’s early ventures into television advertising.
General Motors Holden – Holden Ute advertisement – c1956
The utility was Holden’s first foray into model diversification after its standard sedan.
General Motors Holden – Proved Dependability advertisement – c1956
This ad introduces written testimonials from 'satisfied owners’ of Holden cars, 'taxi drivers, men in the outback, commercial travellers, family men’.
General Motors Holden – Range of Products advertisement – c1958
This advertisement positions the GMH brand within the Australian landscape, broadening out from Holden cars.
General Motors Holden – Resale Value advertisement – c1958
Resale value became an important factor for motorists to consider when purchasing their new Holden.
General Motors Holden – To Suit All Family Needs advertisement – c1956
In this mid-1950s Holden car ad, the cloud background makes the family look like they’re floating through the sky rather than driving on the ground.
Gerakiteys: Greek Scenes home movie – c1955
The Gerakiteys home movies represent a detailed example of multicultural life in Australia during the 1950s.
Gerakiteys: Greek Wedding Reception: Canberra Scenes home movie – c1954
This is a rare example of home movie footage of migrant communities living in Australia in the 1950s.
The Happy Years sponsored film – c1958
This film showcases the health services provided to state school students.
Hewers of Coal sponsored film – 1957
This union-sponsored documentary dramatises the history of mining in Australia since the early 1900s, including the friction between miners and mine owners.
Holden Car Cinema Advertisement: A New Star, the New Holden FE advertisement – 1956
Many of the FE’s aesthetic modifications reflected the fashions of the 1950s.
Holden Car Cinema Advertisement: On a Tour of Australia’s Banana Plantations advertisement – c1955
This travelogue-style Holden advertisement was one of a series of 'on a tour’ films made for cinema audiences between 1953 and 1956.
Holmes, Mr WGA: Locals Cool Off at the Weir, Theodore home movie – c1940
Many of the segments in this home movie compilation concern various farming or agricultural activities, including cotton harvesting and beekeeping.
Il Contratto feature film – 1953
In 1950s Melbourne, four recent Italian migrants eager for work to pay off their debts finally find employment on a rural farm near the city.
The Instructional Guide to Dating short film – 2005
This short film contains in-flight instructions for dating success.
Interview with Archbishop Mannix television program – 1962
Interviewed at age 97, Dr Daniel Mannix, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, was a man of considerable influence in Australian public life.
Jack Luscombe music – 1953
An oral history containing the first recorded collection of Australian folk song.
King Billy’s First Car advertisement – 1939
This cartoon carries the message that progress incurs sacrifice – be it moral, economic, social or political.
King of the Coral Sea feature film – 1954
A pearler in the Torres Strait uncovers an illegal people smuggling operation.