The woman on the pub wall

Louise Lovely in Jewelled Nights

Louise Lovely in Jewelled Nights

  NFSA title: 590401

On 15 January 2014, the NFSA Library received an enquiry from a lady who’d seen several film stills on a pub wall in Corinna, Tasmania. She thought the young actress on that wall may have been the beautiful starlet Lottie Lyell, and was curious to determine the name of the film and whether it had been filmed in Corinna.

Searches of the NFSA Library catalogue and the national collection revealed a wealth of information on Lottie.

Whilst the client reviewed the records located for her, we continued hunting for clues. Searching for ‘Lottie Lyell’ and ‘Tasmania’ I came across this entry and noticed that Louise Lovely was listed too, and wondered if it could be Lovely we were looking for and not Lyell.

We printed a photo of Louise to show to the client, as well as a catalogue entry for the film Jewelled Nights, in which Louise starred. It is also known that Louise was responsible for raising the finance, creating the scenario for the film, arranging the cast, and was involved in the processes of editing and producing the film with her husband, Wilton Welch, in 1925.

Jewelled Nights

Jewelled Nights: location shot of cast and crew assembled posing outside a miner’s cabin.

  NFSA title: 590533

A catalogue entry for this photograph (right) held in the NFSA collection states the following: ‘Text on back of photograph reads: Savage River, Tasmania 1923 – 24’.

The client left feeling pleased that she had tracked down the name of the actress and the title of the film. But how did Louise Lovely’s Jewelled Nights photos end up on the wall of a pub in Corinna?

Corinna is located in south-west Tasmania, not far from Savage River. Perhaps the images were given to the community of Corinna as a sign of appreciation for welcoming the film cast and crew. Do you know anything else about these photos on display in the pub at Corinna? We would love to hear from you.



What a fabulous treasure hunt! I hope people are able to give you more information from the community.

Emma Jean Kelly on 26 Feb 2014, 10:01 a.m.

This is a fabulous treasure hunt, and a little bit mysterious too. I was curious about the hotel in Corinna and checked the White/Yellow pages, but can't find any trace of one.

It would be great to find out the name of that pub, and the exact location.

Lovely said in her oral history that the cast and crew of "Jewelled Nights" stayed for five weeks at the hotel in Waratah.

Google Maps shows that Corinna Road becomes Waratah Road … could the "hotel in Corinna" be the "hotel in Waratah" that was the filmmakers' home for five weeks?

I am possible making a simple inquiry more complicated than it needs to be, but the NFSA collections have photographs of TWO different hotels associated with "Jewelled Nights".

There are images of the shingle-sided Whyte River Hotel (see item 590802). Then there are other images of another unnamed hotel, which was apparently "used in the film" (see items 353852 and 353172). These photos were clearly taken much later--the vehicles are definitely not from the 1920s!

Yet another image shows that a hotel set was constructed for interiors (item 590619), so perhaps exteriors were shot at the hotel that was "used in the film".

It would be great to find out more!

Jeannette Delamoir on 27 Feb 2014, 2:05 p.m.

Surprising that writer of the note, presumably a NFSA staff member, thinks that Lottie Lyell was a "starlet".

David Donaldson on 29 Apr 2014, 11:59 p.m.

According to Lottie Lyalls biography she was a star of the early Australian films..David, your comment reads a little demeaning to the NFSA librarian and to Lottie Lyall. However, it seems that the enquirer asked about the 'starlet'.

The still photos were taken by my late Grandfather John Henry Robinson
who was a photographer who lived at Waratah Many of his photos are still very popular today and even today many of his photos can be found in the Corinna Pub and accommodation rooms at Corinna.
I have a John H Robinson Photos group on Face book where many of his photos can be viewed including stills from the film "Jewelled Nights"
Jeff Crowe

Jeff Crowe on 28 Feb 2016, 11:46 a.m.

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