Arguably the most popular book of poetry ever produced in Australia, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke was first published in October 1915. Its success was immediate and unprecedented for a book of Australian verse. The first edition of 2,480 copies sold out within weeks, and by the end of February 1916 the book had reached a fifth impression and was still selling well. Tongue firmly in cheek, C. J. Dennis informed his publishers Angus and Robertson that the work's 'success [was] becoming monotonous'.(...more)
Adapted by Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell from C. J. Dennis's collection of poems (The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke), the story concerns Bill ('the bloke'), a Sydney larrikin who vows to abandon his life of gambling and drinking when he falls in love with Doreen (who works in a pickle factory). His reformation comes about after he has been released from gaol, having been convicted of assaulting a policeman ('stoushing a John') during a raid on a two-up game.(...more)
Two copies of this early film version of C.J. Dennis's poems are available at the Internet Archive, but the one embedded below is, they tell us, the better quality version.
Watch The Sentimental Bloke courtesy of the Internet Archive below.
To see the Internet Archive's own page for The Sentimental Bloke, complete with thumbnail images of stills from the film, click here.
In 1919, Longford's film was advertised with a succession of 'celebrity' opinions:
SIR HENRY GALWAY,
GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALlA
'Lady Galway and I enjoyed the Sentimental Bloke this morning very much, indeed. It is excellent — the best picture we have ever seen.'
(From the [Adelaide] Register, 26 November 1919, p.2.)
Who else endorsed the film?
See the advertisement in its entirety here, via Trove.
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