Know Thy Child

Know Thy Child is a 1921 Australian silent film directed by Franklyn Barrett.

Know Thy Child
Directed byFranklyn Barrett
Produced byFranklyn Barrett
Written byElsie M. Cummins
CinematographyFranklyn Barrett
Barrett's Australian Productions
Release date
8 October 1921[1]
Running time
6 reels
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles

It is considered a lost film.[2][3]


A travelling salesman, Ray Standford (Roland Conway), seduces country girl Sadie McClure (Vera James) but forgets about her when she returns to the city and marries Dorothy Graham (Nada Conrade), daughter of his boss. Sadie gives birth to a daughter, Eileen (Lotus Thompson), who becomes Ray's personal secretary. Dorothy becomes a social worker and she and Ray can not have children. Dorothy pressures the government to declare bigamous all marriages contracted by people who were "morally pledged" to others. Ray becomes attracted to Ellen, but she has a sweetheart, engineer Geoffrey Dexter. One night burglars enter a building containing Ray, Eileen and Geoffrey but they fight them off.

Sadie dies and Standford and Dorothy adopt the girl.[4][5]



The film was shot in Sydney at the Rushcutters Bay Studio with exteriors done at Berowra Waters[6] and at Grenwell Point near Nowra.[7]

A contemporary report said it featured "probably the biggest set ever used in an Australian film."[8] Filming was completed by July 1921.[9]

This was the film debut of Lotus Thompson who later achieved fame in Hollywood.[10]

Actress Wendy Osborne later claimed she refused a role in the film on moral grounds.[11]


Barrett distributed the movie himself, but it was not a big success at the box office.[6]

The film was seen by Sir Walter Davidson, the Governor of New South Wales, whose endorsement of the film was used prominently in advertising.[12]

See also


  1. "THE LYCEUM". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 8 October 1921. p. 16. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  2. Edmondson, Ray; Pike, Andrew (1982). "Australia's Lost Films" (PDF). National Library of Australia. p. 64. Retrieved 13 March 2013. It would be hard to guess the significance of the rediscovery of, say, Longford's Ginger Mick or Barrett's Know Thy Child ...
  3. "Know Thy Child". Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  4. ""KNOW THY CHILD"". The Daily News. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 6 January 1922. p. 6. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  5. ""KNOW THY CHILD!"". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 24 January 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  6. Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 108.
  7. "THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 12 June 1921. p. 12. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. "FIGHTING CRESSY". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 26 June 1921. p. 14. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  9. "OUTSIDE THE LAW". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 3 July 1921. p. 14. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  10. "TO THE SUNSHINE". The Sunday Times (1844). New South Wales, Australia. 29 May 1921. p. 5. Retrieved 12 March 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  11. "AUSTRALIAN FILMS". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 22 October 1927. p. 13. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  12. "THE PICTURES". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 24 November 1921. p. 8. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
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