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Movietone Special: Peace: Australia Celebrates (1945)


This Movietone News special edition features the nationwide celebrations that erupted with the declaration of peace at the end of the Second World War. It includes scenes in Martin Place, Sydney, as well as other capital cities, a victory march down the streets, and a man who breaks out into a dance on George Street, Sydney.

The newsreel is voiced by Movietone regular, radio and television personality, Jack Davey.

Curator’s notes

Perhaps one of the most memorable Australian editions of Fox Movietone News, this special captures the excitement of the time and includes one of the most iconic images of the immediate postwar period – the 'dancing man’.

Special edition newsreels were issued by both Movietone and rival company Cinesound for significant events. The declaration of peace to end the war in the Pacific prompted extended editions from both newsreel companies. Normally running about 10 minutes and consisting of several short items, this newsreel runs a single story for seven minutes. The Cinesound and Movietone footage of the peace declaration covered similar ground – the spontaneous street celebrations and organised rallies across the nation – but the Movietone edition is the one which continues to resonate today, specifically for the often aired eight-second dancing man segment, which embodies the joyous nature of the celebrations.