The Woman Suffers

The Woman Suffers is a 1918 Australian silent film directed by Raymond Longford. It is a melodrama starring Lottie Lyell. Two-thirds of the movie still survives.[2]

The Woman Suffers
Directed byRaymond Longford
Written byRaymond Longford[1]
StarringLottie Lyell
CinematographyArthur Higgins
Release date
23 March 1918 (Adelaide)
Running time
61 mins (8,000 feet)
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles


The movie consists of eight acts.[3] A woman, Marion Masters (Connie Martyn), runs away from her drunken husband with her baby son. Her husband falls on a knife and dies, their home is destroyed in a fire and she collapses in the bush. By the time she is rescued her son has been found by another family. She remarries a station owner, Stephen Manton (Charles H Francis), and becomes step mother to his two children, Ralph and Marjory. The missing child grows up as Philip Stockdale, the adopted child of the owners of Kooringa Station, who already have a daughter Joan.

Twelve years later, Ralph Manton (Roland Conway) is sent to Melbourne by his father, but a flooded river forces him to take refuge at the Stockdale's station, where he seduces Joan (Evelyn Black). He goes to Melbourne and lives a playboy lifestyle, and Joan drowns herself in despair. Her brother Philip (Boyd Irwin) finds the body and vows revenge on Ralph.

He decides to seduce Ralph's sister, Marjory (Lottie Lyell) and abandons her after she becomes pregnant. She becomes mad and tries to abort her baby. Ralph discovers this and vows revenge on Philip – but is shamed when he discovers Philip's identity. Mrs Manton tells Philip the whole story and realises he is her long-lost son. Philip decides to marry Marjory.[4]


  • Lottie Lyell as Marjory
  • Evelyn Black as Joan Stockdale
  • Roland Conway as Ralph Manton
  • Charles H Francis as Stephen Manton
  • Ida Gresham as Mrs Stockdale
  • Boyd Irwin as Philip Stockdale
  • Connie Martyn as Marion Masters
  • CR Stanford as John Stockdale
  • Herbert Walsh as Rev. Mr. Payne
  • Harry Beaumont as swagman
  • Guy Hastings as clergyman


The movie was the first film from the Southern Cross Feature Film Company, who hired Raymond Longford to direct. It was shot in South Australia.[5]


The film opened in South Australia to good box office results and excellent reviews.[6]

It ran for seven weeks in New South Wales but on 22 October 1918 was banned by the censor in that state.[7] No reason was ever given despite pleas from Longford and questions put to the Chief Secretary in the Legislative Assembly. The movie was popular in other states.[2][8]

In Adelaide Southern Cross Features ran a competition for best opinion on the questions "Was Ralph Manton guilty of murder?" and was "Philip Masters justified?" with a prize of £2 for "the best opinion ventured."[9]


  1. Copyright registration at National Archives of Australia
  2. Merv Wasson, "The Woman Suffers: Why Ever Was She Banned?", Cinema Papers, July 1984 p158-160, 196
  3. "Classified Advertising". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 18 June 1918. p. 10. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  4. ""THE WOMAN SUFFERS."". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 March 1918. p. 8. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  5. "THE WOMAN SUFFERS". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 25 March 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  6. "THE WOMAN SUFFERS". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 25 March 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  7. Paul Byrnes, 'The Woman Suffers', Australian Screen Online accessed 8 January 2012
  8. "Raymond Longford", Cinema Papers, January 1974 p51
  9. ""THE WOMAN SUFFERS."". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 28 March 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
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