La Revanche (1916 film)

La Revanche, also known as The Vengeance, is a 1916 Australian feature-length film directed by W. J. Lincoln about the revenge sought by Belgian friends of Edith Cavell against the Germans during World War I. It was a sequel to Nurse Cavell (1916), using many of the same cast and crew.[2][5]

La Revanche
Directed byW. J. Lincoln
G.H. Barnes
Produced byW. J. Lincoln
Written byW. J. Lincoln
Fred Kehoe[1]
StarringArthur Styan
Agnes Keogh
Stewart Garner
CinematographyMaurice Bertel[2]
Cinema Films Ltd
Release date
10 April 1916 (Melbourne)[3]
Running time
4,000 feet[4]
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles

It is considered a lost film.[6]


Following the execution of Edith Cavell the Germans continue to practice atrocities. Two friends of Cavell, a Belgian officer, Captain Devreaux, becomes determined to get revenge. Among the German outrages depicted included: the flogging to death of a Belgian man who forgot to salute a German officer; the shooting of an old man who objected to the treatment of Belgian girls; the Kaiser awarding the Iron Cross to a man who murdered an innocent woman.[7] In the end, the spy who denounced Cavell is shot by the Belgians.[8] The German captain involved in the Cavell's execution is shot by a Belgian woman he was assaulting.

The film also depicts the German capture of Wavre in Belgium and its recapture by the Allies.[4]


  • Arthur Styan as Lieutenant Carl[9]
  • W. J. Lincoln as the Kaiser
  • Agnes Keogh
  • Stewart Garner as Captain Devereaux


In March 1916 it was announced in the Melbourne Winner that the film was being prepared:

In the coming film the imaginary characters which figured in the first picture again appear, and what may be called a sequel to the tragic death of the nurse is worked out. As its title suggests, Le Revanche deals with the subsequent movements of the people associated with Nurse Cavell in the previous subject, who are actuated with a desire to avenge the martyr's death. Some sensational incidents are promised, culminating in the death of Captain Karl, the German officer who shot the wounded woman. The original cast has been retained, and the producers state that special attention has been paid to dressing and mounting, which will be on a particularly elaborate scale. Among the new characters which appear in La Ravanche is no less a dignitary than the Kaiser himself.[2]

The film was shot at the studios of J.C. Williamson Ltd.[10] Several of the cast were returned Australian servicemen from the war.[4]


The film was finished by March 1916. It was seen by a writer from the Melbourne Winner who wrote that:

The story...apart from its improbability, has quite as much to recommend it as dozens of other screen stories, and serves well enough to introduce some fine scenes and give the principals an opportunity to impart strength and detail to characters which in the prior picture were lightly sketched. In the matter of mounting and dressing, everything is a more elaborate scale than has hitherto been the case with locally produced screen subjects, and some striking effects have been achieved. A notable feature of the film is the bright, crisp photography, for which, it is said, natural light was used throughout. Mr Bertelle is to be complimented upon the excellent results obtained.[11]

The movie does not appear to have been particularly successful at the box office, only running for a short time in cinemas. It is felt this was due to a combination of fatigue of the Cavell story, and the French title.[6]


  1. "LA REVANCHE". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 May 1916. p. 6. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  2. "CINEMA PICTURES". Winner. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 8 March 1916. p. 12. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  3. Mary Bateman, 'W. J. Lincoln', Cinema Papers, June−July 1980 p. 214
  4. "AMUSEMENTS". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 27 May 1916. p. 5 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  5. Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 61
  6. Marsden, Ralph. 'The Old Tin Shed in Exhibition Street': The J.C. Williamson Studio, Melbourne's Forgotten Film Factory [online]. Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, No. 157, 2008: 144-153. Availability: <;dn=519108300276483;res=IELAPA> ISSN 0312-2654. [cited 15 Nov 14].
  7. "Classified Advertising". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 8 April 1916. p. 22. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  8. "Advertising". Independent. Footscray, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 15 April 1916. p. 7. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  9. "Advertising". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 13 April 1916. p. 2. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  10. "Advertising". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 26 May 1916. p. 1 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  11. "THE PICTURE SHOWS". Winner. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 22 March 1916. p. 10. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
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