The Silent Film Era
Silent Films in Australian Newspapers
(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AustLit UQ Team
  • The Australian Silent Film Industry

    EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Loyal Rebel - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): £500 Reward - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): A Coo-ee from Home - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): A Romance of the Burke and Wills Expedition of 1860 - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Man from Kangaroo - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Face at the Window - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Should a Doctor Tell? - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Prehistoric Hayseeds - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Joe - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Painted Daughters - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Jewelled Nights - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Around the Boree Log - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Jungle Woman - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Tall Timber - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Those Who Love - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Peter Vernon's Silence - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Environment - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Rushing Tide - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): For the Term of His Natural Life - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Russell Affair - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Odds On - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Adorable Outcast - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Grey Glove - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Romance of Runnibede - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Far Paradise - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Sin of a Woman - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Do Men Love Women? - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Mutiny of the Bounty - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Church and the Woman - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Monk and the Woman - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Hayseeds' Back-blocks Show - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Hayseeds' Melbourne Cup - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Cupid Camouflaged - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): His Convict Bride - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Waybacks - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Barry Butts In - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Does the Jazz Lead to Destuction? - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Sentimental Bloke - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Struck Oil - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Shadow of Lightning Ridge - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Man from Snowy River - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Ginger Mick - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Breaking of the Drought - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Jackeroo of Coolabong - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Possum Paddock - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Betrayer - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Gentleman Bushranger - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Rudd's New Selection - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Retribution - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): A Daughter of Australia - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Dinkum Bloke - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Townies and Hayseeds - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): When the Kellys Were Out - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Rev. Dell's Secret - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Digger Earl - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Joe - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Fisher's Ghost - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Jewelled Nights - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Adventures of Algy - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Bushwhackers - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Mystery of a Hansom Cab - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Hound of the Deep - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Greenhide - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Sealed Room - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Those Who Love - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): The Tenth Straw - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following WORK record(s): Trooper O'Brien -
  • The era of silent feature films in Australia began in 1906, with the release of The Story of the Kelly Gang, arguably not only Australia's first feature-length film, but the first in the world.

    Over the next twenty-four years, Australia produced over 200 films, an enormous output for a nascent industry–and that's excluding the work of Australians such as Alfred J. Goulding, John Farrow, and J.P. McGowan, who plied their trade in Hollywood.

    Then, in 1930, the silent-film era came to an end in Australia, when the Commonwealth Film Prize determined that only talkies would be eligible for the 1930 prize and the £9000 available in prize money. Film-makers scurried to add sound to otherwise silent films–after which, to some controversy, the Commonwealth Film Prize refused to award first and second prize, on the grounds that none of the entered films were of sufficient quality.

    This exhibition explores the way in which Australian newspapers marketed the silent-film era. The individual tiles below show pictorial advertisements, portraits of silent-film stars, and publicity stills–all harvested from contemporary newspapers via the National Library of Australia's Trove database.

    To aid in navigating this material, the advertisements have been divided into three categories: pre-1920 films, films made between 1920 and 1925, and films made between 1926 and 1929. Publicity stills have been divided into two categories: publicity stills pre-1925 and publicity stills post-1925.

    This division ensures the material is accessible, but is not purely arbitrary: as the decades rolled on, advertisements became more and more elaborate, and newspapers published more publicity stills. This shift can be traced through the exhibitions below.

    For a full list of AustLit records for films produced in Australia between 1906 and 1919, follow this link.

    For a full list of AustLit records for silent films by Australians, including those working in overseas film industries, follow this link.

  • Exploring the Material

    • (Display Format : Portrait)

      Silent Film Actresses

    • (Display Format : Custom)

      Publicity Stills to 1925

    • (Display Format : Custom)

      Publicity Stills After 1925

    • (Display Format : Custom)

      Advertisements Before 1920

    • (Display Format : Custom)

      Advertisements of the Early '20s

    • (Display Format : Custom)

      Advertisements of the Late '20s

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