Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

All titles produced in 1939

18 titles

A

Australia Today – Fort Denison: [Pinchgut]: A Relic of Early Sydney newsreel – 1939

This newsreel looks nostalgically at the history of Fort Denison, a fortified island in Sydney Harbour, and its place in Sydney’s military and cultural heritage.

Australia Today – Man-Eater newsreel – 1939

Shark attacks on populated beaches are statistically not that common in Australia, but they attract sensational media coverage of the type seen in this newsreel.

Australia Today – Men of Tomorrow newsreel – 1939

Depicting the family life of a young boy in the poorer suburbs of Sydney, this newsreel touches on society’s responsibility to offer its youth a better future.

Australia Today – The ‘Pyjama Girl’ Murder Case newsreel – 1939

This newsreel reconstructs the coronial inquest into the Pyjama Girl mystery, one of the most baffling unsolved murder cases in Australian criminal history.

B

A Brief Survey of the Activities of the Brisbane City Mission sponsored film – c1939

This is a moving portrait of the charity work of the Brisbane City Mission for the poor at a time when many people struggled financially because of the Depression.

C

Cockatoo Island: Newsreel Film of Dockyard Activities historical – 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.

Colleano on Tightwire, Rehearses in Arena home movie – c1939

Con Colleano was the first performance artist to perfect the toe-to-toe forward somersault on a wire.

Colleano on Tightwire Rehearsing at Home home movie – c1939

This footage offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at one of Australia’s most accomplished circus performers from the early twentieth century.

Commonwealth Bank – Willie Wombat: Waste Not Want Not sponsored film – c1939

Willie Wombat was produced by Eric Porter – Australia’s first career animator – to promote the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia’s School Banking program.

G

Give a Little Credit to your Dad; Lonesome for You, Mother Dear music – 1939

Two songs by then unknown country singer Buddy Williams, recorded in 1939.

Gone to the Dogs feature film – 1939

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

I

Isle of Many Waters sponsored film – 1939

The opening credits read 'a portrayal by Frank Hurley described by himself’ and contain the relaxed and descriptive narration style evident in many of his travelogues.

K

King Billy’s First Car advertisement – 1939

This cartoon carries the message that progress incurs sacrifice – be it moral, economic, social or political.

M

Menzies Speech: Declaration of War radio – 1939

The announcement by Prime Minister Menzies in 1939 that because Great Britain has declared war upon Germany, Australia is also at war.

Mr Chedworth Steps Out feature film – 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.

Murray-Will, Ewan: Ballet Russes in Australia home movie – c1939

This unique and candid home movie footage of members of the Ballets Russes company was taken at Sydney’s Bungan Beach in the late 1930s.

Murray-Will, Ewan: Ballets Russes home movie – c1939

Amateur filmmaker Murray-Will’s acquaintance with Ballets Russes members allowed him to capture unique images of one of the world’s greatest dance companies.

T

Take Notice documentary – 1939

Take Notice uses innovative and sophisticated filmmaking techniques to describe the need for a solution to rising rents and substandard living conditions in Sydney.