Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

All feature films

342 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next

1900s

The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906

Audiences of the time loved this film’s boldness and, with its live sound effects and narration, to them it didn’t seem silent.

1910s

The Hero of the Dardanelles 1915

Hero is the first surviving feature film depiction of Australian troops of the First World War and includes images of a real army camp and real soldiers, in training at Liverpool, NSW.

For the Honour of Australia 1916

War melodrama about two brothers in 1915: one joins the navy, the other discovers a German spy ring in Australia and is saved after the Sydney batters the Emden.

The Enemy Within 1918

Snowy Baker stars as a secret agent who smashes a ring of German spies in Sydney during the First World War.

The Woman Suffers 1918

This has been called ‘Australia’s first feminist feature’ but many of its female characters are ruined by men, a common theme in melodrama.

The Man from Kangaroo 1919

John Harland, a bush parson, is dismissed from his job for teaching children how to box. Harland moves to another town, where he combats ruffians and rescues his girlfriend from a forced marriage.

The Sentimental Bloke 1919

Director Raymond Longford and leading lady Lottie Lyell wrote this together and it is probably their most successful collaboration.

1920s

The Breaking of the Drought 1920

An outback family faces ruin through drought and a son corrupted by life in the big city.

On Our Selection 1920

On Our Selection is a landmark of the silent era in Australian cinema, and one of the key films in the career of Raymond Longford, the greatest director of that period.

Sunshine Sally 1922

The working-class Sally falls in love with the adopted son of wealthy parents from whom she was kidnapped as a child.

Those Who Love 1926

Barry Manton marries Lola Quayle, a dancer from a humble background. Lola faces an uphill battle for acceptance from Barry’s wealthy parents.

For the Term of His Natural Life 1927

The use of locations, particularly Port Arthur, is probably the film’s strongest asset, lending both veracity and visual impact. The other real strength of the film is its confident use of special effects.

The Kid Stakes 1927

The Kid Stakes is one of the greatest comedies of the silent era, although it was largely dismissed at the time as simply a children’s film.

The Birth of White Australia 1928

This early feature depicts racial tension in NSW in 1861. Despite its offensive representation of Aboriginality, the film has cultural and historic value.

The Exploits of the Emden 1928

A reconstruction of Ken G Hall’s composite film about the destruction of the German warship Emden in November 1914.

The Far Paradise 1928

Despite their love for each other, family loyalties keep Cherry Carson and Peter Lawton apart until Cherry learns the truth about her father’s past.

The Cheaters (silent) 1929

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

1930s

The Cheaters (sound version) 1931

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

Diggers 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.

His Royal Highness 1932

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

On Our Selection 1932

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

Harmony Row 1933

George Wallace’s talent for physical comedy is fully evident in the boxing match which serves as the film’s climax.

The Hayseeds 1933

This is the seventh and last film about a comical rural family known as the Hayseeds — it is also the first with sound.

In the Wake of the Bounty 1933

Made by Charles Chauvel and with Errol Flynn in the cast, In the Wake of the Bounty is an odd mixture of re-creation and travelogue.

The Squatter’s Daughter 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.

The Silence of Dean Maitland 1934

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

Splendid Fellows 1934

Famous Australian aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, and his famous plane, have cameo roles in this comedy adventure.

Strike Me Lucky 1934

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

A Ticket in Tatts 1934

George Wallace helps a champion horse to avoid crooks and win a big race.

Grandad Rudd 1935

Some of the comical sketches are old-fashioned while others are beautifully designed to get audiences laughing during the Depression.

Heritage 1935

Heritage is a thunderous piece of endorsement for the pioneer mythology of Australia, made by the prolific Charles Chauvel.

Orphan of the Wilderness 1936

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

Rangle River 1936

NSW legislation required exhibitors and distributors to invest in, and show, Australian films — but not for long.

Thoroughbred 1936

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

Uncivilised 1936

Uncivilised is basically an Australian Tarzan, but with an English singer, Dennis Hoey, playing the king of the jungle.

It Isn’t Done 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.

Lovers and Luggers 1937

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

Mystery Island 1937

Two of the principal actors disappeared at sea after filming finished and what became of them is still unknown.

Tall Timbers 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.

The Broken Melody 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.

Dad and Dave Come to Town 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.

Let George Do It 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.

Gone to the Dogs 1939

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

Mr Chedworth Steps Out 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.

1940s

Dad Rudd, MP 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.

Forty Thousand Horsemen 1940

Chauvel introduced a very young and fresh-faced Chips Rafferty, who modelled his performance in part on the comical digger created by Pat Hanna in Diggers (1931).

The Rats of Tobruk 1944

The Rats of Tobruk may not be Charles Chauvel’s best movie, but it deserves serious consideration as his best movie about war.

The Overlanders 1946

As the Japanese threaten northern Australia in 1942, a drover takes a mob of prime beef cattle across 2,600 kms of hazardous country to Queensland.

Smithy 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.

Bush Christmas 1947

In a rare villainous role, Chips Rafferty plays a horse thief, Long Bill. He is tracked by five kids spending Christmas in the Blue Mountains.

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