What did Australia watch during the First World War?

BY STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN

Lily Brunton (played by Loma Rossmore) and William Brown (Guy Hastings) in The Hero of the Dardanelles (1915). NFSA title: 357116

What did Australians watch at their local cinema during the First World War? You can find out at War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914-1918. This free exhibition is being held at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and is a collaboration between the NFSA and ACMI.

At the exhibition you can view a range of shorts, newsreels and extracts from local feature films. There’s also a selection of international content to give a broader picture of how the war was presented on the cinema screen.

Listed below are the films supplied by the NFSA for the exhibition. Linked titles take you to clips and curated notes on australianscreen.

The exhibition runs at ACMI from 10 March – 26 July. For more information, see the ACMI website.

From 1 June you can also view films from the exhibition in Arc cinema.

1914

Will The Ladies (kindly remove their hats)… & God Save the King
Fantomas, France, dir. Louis Feuillade, drama serial
Dandy Starch, Australia, advertisement
A Long, Long Way to Tipperary, Australia, dir. George Dean, feature

1915

Recruitment Drive, Australia, actuality film
NSW Expeditionary Forces – Randwick Racecourse, Australia, actuality film
Perdriau Watershed Hose, Australia, advertisement
Cartoons of the Moment – Miss Australasia, Australia, animation

A Film Johnnie, USA, dir. George Nichols, short comedy
The Hero of the Dardanelles, Australia, dir. Alfred Rolfe, feature
For the Honour of Australia, Australia, dir. unknown, feature
Neptune’s Daughter, USA, dir. Herbert Brenon, feature
Warner’s Rustproof Corset, Australia, advertisement
Cabiria, Italy, dir. Giovanni Pastrone, feature
The Birth of a Nation, USA, dir. DW Griffith, feature
Hoadley’s Barrackville Cocoa, Australia, advertisement

1916

Charity Bazaar, Martin Place, Australia, newsreel
The Joan of Arc of Loos, Australia, dir. George Willoughby, feature
Officer 666, Australia, dir. Fred Niblo, feature
The Perils of Pauline, USA, dir. Louis J. Gaznier, serial drama
Cartoons of the Moment – The Skirt, dir. Harry Julius, Australia, animation
Australia Prepared, Australia, government sponsored film
Departure of the Australian Expeditionary Force, Australia, newsreel
Scarlett Industries, Australia, advertisement
Indasia Soap, Australia, advertisement
Australasian Gazette – Street Parade, Australia, newsreel
Referendum Bullets, Australia, government sponsored film

1917

Australasian Gazette – Fill the Gap, Australia, newsreel
The German Monster, Australia, dir. Harry Julius, animation,

1918

The Waybacks, Australia, dir. Arthur W. Sterry, feature
The Enemy Within, Australia, dir. Roland Stavely, feature
The Woman Suffers, Australia, dir. Raymond Longford, feature

A New Australia, Australia, Government sponsored film
Australasian Gazette – A Unique Audience, Australia, Newsreel