The Flying Doctor + Vintage Sport
Each season, NFSA curators present a pick from the collection. From long-lost film props to newly-digitised broadcasts and freshly restored films – be the first to gain access to these important items from Australia’s audiovisual history, presented by experts.
Join us on Father’s Day for The Flying Doctor (D: Miles Mander, 1936, 92 mins), an under-seen drama about a love triangle between an engaged-to-be-wed couple and a doctor in the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The 1936 film has been newly digitised by the NFSA and will be screened to the public for the first time in decades, introduced by Film Curator Jeff Wray.
The film famously features a Donald Bradman cameo, and will be preceded by a selection of vintage sports clips from the collection across a wide spectrum of great Australian sports stars – including Jack Brabham, Ken 'Muscles' Rosewall, Betty Cuthbert plus crazy roller hockey and the classic Rabbitohs v Dragons footy Grand Final of 1965.
The Flying Doctor was thought to have been lost until workers clearing a building site in Sydney found it in a film vault. They cut through the steel door using an oxy torch – somehow avoiding igniting the highly flammable nitrate film inside – and loaded it on a truck, marked for disposal.
An office worker saw the truck loaded with film cans pass by, gave chase in his car and rescued the film – which included the first eight of nine reels of The Flying Doctor. The ninth reel was found two years later by the BFI National Film Archive in London.