The Breaking of the Drought
The Breaking of the Drought is a 1920 Australian silent film from director Franklyn Barrett based on the popular play by Bland Holt and Arthur Shirley. According to Graham Phillips, this film is one of the most damaged films in Australia's film archive, although few sequences have severe damage in the film.
|The Breaking of the Drought|
|Directed by||Franklyn Barrett|
|Produced by||Franklyn Barrett|
|Written by||Percy Rea (as "Jack North")|
|Based on||play by Bland Holt and Arthur Shirley|
Golden Wattle Film Syndicate
|19 June 1920|
|Language||Silent film |
Drought causes Jo Galloway to lose possession of Wallaby Stationn to the bank. He moves to the city with his wife and daughter Marjorie to stay with his son Gilbert only to discover that Gilbert has been embezzling family funds, and fallen in with conman Varsy Lyddleton and femme fatal Olive Lorette.
Lyddleton murders Olive then kills himself. Marjorie's sboyfriend Tom Wattleby saves Gilbert from a bushfire, just as the drought breaks, restoring the family's fortunes.
|The Breaking of the Drought|
|Written by||Bland Holt|
|Date premiered||26 December 1902|
|Place premiered||Lyceum Theatre, Sydney|
The film was based on a 1902 Australian play written for Bland Holt by English playwright Arthur Shirley.
In 1902, at drought-stricken Wallaby Station in New South Wales, a squatter, Jo Galloway, lives with his wife and daughter Marjorie while his son Gilbert trains to be a doctor in Sydney. Gilbert falls in with bad company, in the shape of financier Varsey Lyddleton, who encourages him to forge his father's name on some cheques and ruins his family. A neighbouring squatter, Tom Wattleby, who loves Marjorie Galloway, returns from a trip to India to find the father working as a lamp cleaner and the daughter was a maid. The neighbour rescues the family and the father swears vengeance on his son. However, during a bush fire that ends in a heavy rain that breaks the drought, the hero rescues Gilbert.
The play made its debut at the end of 1902 and was very popular. Audiences and critics were particularly impressed by the stage design, which included things like real horses, recreations of Paddy's Market, swimming pools and real trees.
Annette Kellerman appeared in a 1903 production.
A New South Wales MP, Mr Wearne, asked questions in parliament complaining that the film's depiction of drought could create a bad impression overseas. An investigation was launched by the Chief Secretary's office, who later assured Wearne that new legislation meant that the export of the film could be banned by the Minister of Customs if he deemed it to be "harmful to the Commonwealth".
- "LYCEUM THEATRE.—"THE BREAKING OF THE DROUGHT."". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 27 December 1902. p. 8. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Walsh, G. P., 'Kellermann, Annette Marie Sarah (1886–1975)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University accessed 24 March 2012
- "MUSIC AND DRAMA". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 14 April 1906. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- ""THE BREAKING OF THE DROUGHT."". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 21 July 1920. p. 8. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 97.
- "MISS TRIL BY CLARKE". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 29 September 1923. p. 22. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- "Early Australian films: treasures in the National Archives". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 1 March 1978. p. 26. Retrieved 8 May 2012.