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THE SENTIMENTAL BLOKE

Australia, 1919 (MIFF 1955)

Director: Raymond Longford

It will come as a surprise to most filmgoers to realise that this Australian feature was made in 1919 just three years after Intolerance in America. Scenes from The Sentimental Bloke, a straight interpretation of the poem by C. J. Dennis, are presented with feeling and simplicity, extracts from the verses being used as captions. The production is noteworthy for its absolute integrity and complete lack of sophistication.

The settings used are natural, although the location is obviously Sydney rather than Melbourne, and the atmosphere of city back alleys is authentic.

The leading players convey the rich human feeling of the poem with sincerity and humour and an economy of gesture and subtle use of expression which is quite outstanding.

The film was sponsored by E. J. and Dan Carroll and achieved considerable success in its day, and now deserves an honoured place among the film classics of the world.

The 16 mm. print used at the Festival has been made by the National Library at Canberra in accordance with its policy of preserving Australian productions.

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