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Australia 1906
Directed by
Charles Tait
16 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Story Of The Kelly Gang

The Story of the Kelly Gang, widely regarded as the world's first feature length film only survives as a 16 minute abridged version restored by the Australian National Film and Sound Archive from surviving fragments of its original 70 minute length.

Written and directed by Charles Tait it was the first of many cinematic re-tellings of the story of Australia's legendary bushranger and premier symbol of the nation's anti-authoritarian mythos.  As such, despite its fragmentary nature, the film has lost little of it emotional reverberation. Predictably on release some politicians and the police interpreted it as glorifying criminals and in Benalla and Wangaratta the film was banned in 1907, and then again in Victoria in 1912, while, of course, it enjoyed huge public success.




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