Southern Cross film 'The Woman Suffers' (1918) , made in Adelaide, a feminist melodrama

A scene from The Woman Suffers, starring Lottie Lyell, the 1918 melodrama made in Adelaide for South Australia's Southern Cross Feature Film Company.
 

Made in Adelaide and the first financed by South Australia’s Southern Cross Feature Film Company, The Woman Suffers (1918) was an important and controversial film in its time, and remains one of the most significant Australian silent features.

Directed by Raymond Longford, it starred his partner Lottie Lyell and has been called Australia’s first feminist feature film. The film is a full-scale melodrama of town and country, with sumptuous settings and high fashions, entwined with a highly moral story on a familiar theme: ruination of a woman by a man.

The film, in eight acts, includes many outrages – from the drunken wife-beater husband through to two young men who seduce and abandon women, causing one to suicide and the other to attempt an abortion. All the women in the film are sympathetically depicted.

The Woman Suffers opened in March 1918 at the Theatre Royal, Adelaide, to good box office results and rave reviews. It opened in Sydney in August to good houses and ran for seven weeks but this came to an abrupt halt in October when the New South Wales chief secretary banned further screenings, without giving reasons.

The Woman Suffers was popular in other states. Its success allowed Longford and Lyell to begin work on their next film, The Sentimental Bloke (1919), also for the Southern Cross Feature Film Company and based on the book by South Australian-born author C.J. Dennis. The Sentimental Bloke has been described as the crowning achievement of Longford and Lyell’s careers, and of all Australian silent films.

Marilyn Dooley reconstructed The Woman Suffers in the early 1990s at the National Film and Sound Archive and two thirds of it survive. The Woman Suffers gives a way of assessing just how advanced tLongford and Lyell's filmmaking technique had become by 1918.

 

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

TAFE charged with developing work skills of 70,000; plus schools for jockeys and pilots

TAFE (Technical and Further Education) SA, an independent statutory corporation of the state government, is at the forefront of developing South Australia's future skilled workforce. TAFE SA trains about 70,000 students –about the same as all South Australian universities. TAFE SA’s 1,300 qualifications range from certificates to advanced diplomas and degrees. Other skills trainting outlets include the SA Apprentice Academy for jockeys to flight training at Parafield aerodrome.
 

Gil Brealey the spark for
South Australian Film
 Corporation to kickstart
 Australian film industry

Gil Brealey, television and film director, producer and writer, was the daring and imaginative hands-on force as founding director and chairman of the South Australian Film Corporation,set up by Don Dunstan’s state government in 1972. The corporation played the leading role in reviving Australian film making. Prompting other states to set up similar bodies, it had critical and commercial success with its earliest films such as Sunday Too Far Away (1975: Australian Film Institute best film, best lead actor and best supporting actor awards), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Storm Boy (1976) and Breaker Morant (1980). Shine (1996) was a critical and commercial success. Geoffrey Rush won the American Academy award for best actor. The director, Flinders University graduate Scott Hicks, was nominated as best director for the Academy, Golden Globe and AFI awards. The corporation also help launch the careers of actors and film makers such as Peter Weir, Jack Thompson, Rolf de Heer, Mario Andreacchio, Bryan Brown, and Bruce Beresford. In the 1980s, the corporation moved into television production at a disused factory in Hendon, a northwestern Adelaide suburb. The Battlers mini series in 1994 was the corporation’s last as producer. It shifted to supporting South Australian film and television with funds and making available studios. This was its role in the Nine television network’s McLeod’s Daughters, filmed in rural South Australia. The corporation's new home from 2008 was the Adelaide Studios at eastern suburbs Glenside. 


 

Samuel Smith & Sons/ Yalumba Australia's oldest surviving family-owned winery since 1849

Samuel Smith was a successful brewer in England before he migrated to South Australia in 1847 and worked as a gardener for George Fife Angas at Angaston. In 1849, Smith bought 30 acres for his a vineyard and orchard he called Yalumba. Smith and his son joined the rush to Victorian goldfields in 1852.  On his 16th shaft, he struck gold and returned to Adelaide £300 richer. He spent £80 on 80 acres that he let out and spent the rest on equipment, cellars and another house. In 1852, he made his first wine and, by 1862, had nine acres planted with shiraz. He gave cuttings to neighbours and bought their grapes to make wine. In 1863, he produced 60 hogsheads (13,638 litres). Yalumba wines soon won repute, with a bronze medal at the 1866-67 Intercolonial Exhibition, Melbourne, and silver at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition. Son Sidney Smith took over the estate in 1888. In 1923, Samuel Smith & Son became a wine merchant, presenting a blue chip portfolio of national and international wines, spirits and premium ales. In the 1980s, managing-director Robert Hill-Smith oversaw a buyout of family shares to consolidate the company's independence. Having made a strong push into exporting, the company operates throughout Australia from its head office in Angaston. Yalumba wines have been style leaders, controlling quality through its own vine nursery and cooperage. It has introduced varieties such as viognier and tempranillo. It also led the industry in environmental performance; reducing carbon emissions, increasing biodiversity and exploring organic viticulture. 

Rossi Boots still march on in Adelaide from its beginning in a backyard tin shed in 1910

Arthur Edward Rossiter started making boots in a backyard tin shed in Adelaide in 1910. Crafting Rossi Boots for hard work saw the company win national military contracts during the world wars and become a popular choice for cricket and football. The company struggled during the 1930s Depression but it has stayed a Rossiter family company and is still an Australian-made operation in every aspect, making 250,000 pairs of shoes a year at its Hilton factory.

 

J.P. McGowan: From Terowie to a pioneer actor and director of Hollywood film making

Terowie-born J.P. McGowan became a pioneering Hollywood actor, director and occasional screenwriter and producer from 1910. He is the only Australian life member of the Screen Directors Guild (now Directors Guild of America). After early years in the then-bustling South Australian railway town of Terowie, John Paterson McGowan grew up in the Adelaide suburb of Islington and later Sydney. He served in the second Boer War as a special dispatch rider. From South Africa, McGowan was recruited for a Boer War exhibit in the USA at the 1904 World’s Fair. He worked in live theatre and in 1910 joined Kalem film studios in New York City. That year he made his first film appearance in A lad from old Ireland. His horse riding ability enabled him to do many stunts. McGowan directed and often acted in the first 33 episodes of Kalem's 1914 adventure series The hazards of Helen. He married its star Helen Holmes. They left Kalem to set up their own company that made mainly railroad melodrama serials and features. McGowan moved silent film to talkies. While never a major star, over four decades he acted in 232 films —mostly strong roles like sheriff or villain—,wrote 26 screenplays and directed 242 productions. In 1932, he directed a young John Wayne in the 12-episode serial The Hurricane express. From 1938 to 1951, as executive secretary of the Screen Directors Guild, he fought for the director to be recognised within the film studio systems and emerging television industry. McGowan's adventurous stunt-filled partnership with Helen Holmes was celebrated in the bio-tribute, Stunt love, at the Adelaide Film Festival and at Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2011.

State's pioneering lead in biomed engineering boosted as clinicians, industry collaborate

South Australia has been a pioneer of biomedical engineering and has some of Australia’s leading minds. The state’s strength is in clinical communities and industry working together. Biomedical engineering projects in the pipeline include a nasal delivery device for pain relief, a device to prevent deep vein thrombosis,, an automatic screwdriver for surgeons to optimise healing of broken bones, and wearable technology that alerts Type 1 diabetics about serious dips in blood sugar. levels.
 


 

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback