The thought of watching a bunch of road safety and driver education films might sound pretty dry, but the films in our Learn to Drive curated collection are winners with vintage car enthusiasts and anyone with fond (or scary!) memories of learning to drive.
You can enjoy watching smashes and crashes, identify shoot locations and pick out your favourite makes and models of cars. The films were made by the Commonwealth Film Unit, later known as Film Australia, from the 1950s to the 1980s.
It's interesting to see how much of the teaching in the films is still relevant and useful today. One film shows you how to drive to a system, complete with a stop motion animation made with model cars.
The 1950s road safety-themed short films such as Double Cross, Signal Advice and Cupid's Complaint (all made in 1958) were shot on 35mm film and shown in cinemas before the main feature. Cricketing greats Richie Benaud and Keith Miller feature in the films to broaden their appeal. By the 1960s and 70s, the films were shot on 16mm and shown in high school halls.
Before they were famous
The Commonwealth Film Unit (and later Film Australia) acted as a training ground for many famous filmmakers and actors early in their careers. For example, the funky 70s score for the Skills of Defensive Driving series (featured below) was written by Rory O’Donoghue who played Thin Arthur on The Aunty Jack Show (1972-75).