Silent film classic The Sentimental Bloke digitally restored for 100th anniversary


The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) is marking 100 years of silent film classic The Sentimental Bloke with a new digital restoration. The premiere, at Sydney’s Westpac OpenAir cinema on 15 February 2020, will feature an exclusive live performance of a new score composed by ARIA-award winning musician Paul Mac especially for this anniversary.

The Sentimental Bloke was adapted from C.J. Dennis’ 1915 verse novel, by Australian film industry power couple: legendary director Raymond Longford, and superstar Lottie Lyell. A huge box office hit with audiences in 1919-20, The Sentimental Bloke is one of few silent-era Australian films to have survived in its entirety.

The Sentimental Bloke tells the story of Bill, a wayward Aussie bloke played by Arthur Tauchert, and his love interest Doreen, played by Lyell. The film was shot on locations including Manly beach and the-then rough streets of Woolloomooloo, offering a rare glimpse of Sydney 100 years ago.

This digital restoration was an international effort; the NFSA had to search for and identify multiple sources to work from - including a digital scan of a pristine fine grain print from George Eastman Museum in New York. Clips are available on the NFSA YouTube channel:

The film was painstakingly brought back to life by NFSA experts and postproduction partner Vandal. It is the 30th title in the NFSA Restores program which digitally restores, preserves, and shares classic Australian films for today’s and future audiences.

NFSA CEO Jan Müller said: ‘We are excited to celebrate The Sentimental Bloke’s 100th birthday with an impressive digital restoration, and a special musical collaboration with Paul Mac. It’s an event not to be missed; just imagine the combination of the romantic story of The Kid and Doreen, the lovingly restored images of vintage Sydney, the energy of Paul Mac’s live performance of his original score, with one of the world’s most beautiful cities in the backdrop. The film’s premiere at Westpac OpenAir will be spectacular!’

Come and experience the film in its rightful home, alongside Sydney Harbor where it was first shot 100 years ago, with an exciting new score by Paul Mac!


Stills, film clips and a restoration before and after promo are available for media use from:

For interviews or more information please contact NFSA Manager Communications Miguel Gonzalez, (02) 8202 0114, 0404 281 632 or


NFSA Restores: The Sentimental Bloke premiere with live music score by Paul Mac

Where: Westpac OpenAir cinema, Fleet Steps off Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney.
When: 15 February 2020
Tickets: On sale 9am, 10 December 2019:     

“An’ when I kissed ‘er  
I sorter felt
That bosker feelin’ that
Comes o’er a bloke
An’ makes ‘im melt. “
-    Bill, The Sentimental Bloke

About NFSA Restores: The Sentimental Bloke

Producer: Raymond Longford
Director: Raymond Longford
Scriptwriter: Lottie Lyell, Raymond Longford
Author: C.J. Dennis
Cast: Arthur Tauchert, Lottie Lyell, Gilbert Emery, William Coulter , Helen Fergus, Margaret Reid, Stanley Robinson, Harry Young, Charles Keegan

Synopsis: Based on the verse novel The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis, this is a tale of romance, jealousy, temptation and redemption. It tells the story of Bill ‘The Kid’ (Arthur Tauchert), a larrikin who cleans up his act when the beautiful Doreen (Lottie Lyell) enters his life.

About NFSA Restores

NFSA Restores is anexciting program to digitise, restore and preserve, at the highest archival standards, classic and cult Australian films so they can be seen on the big screen in today’s digital cinemas.

About Paul Mac

Paul Mac is one of the leading figures in Australian electronic music. He is a composer, songwriter, musician and producer. Paul is a conservatorium graduate and a multi ARIA Award winner for his work with underground dance pioneers Itch-E & Scratch-E and for his own solo work. The list of artists with whom he’s collaborated over recent years includes Sia, Daniel Johns, and Ngaiire.

Paul scores music for films, TV and theatre and he has previously worked with Bangarra on the acclaimed productions – Blak and Miyagan (from the OUR land people stories series).