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Australian Life Biograph Company

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The Australian Life Biograph Company was a short lived Australian film production company in the silent era. It funded many of the early films of Gaston Mervale and Louise Lovely.

The company was formed in 1911 with capital of £6,000 and was based in Sydney.[1] It produced eight feature films in total, all directed by Mervale, who used a stock company of actors including Lovely (then known as Louise Carbasse), Jerome Partick, Godfrey Cass and Harry Beaumont. Movies were shot at Biograph's glass-roofed studio in Manly, New South Wales.

In the words of film historians Graham Shirley and Brian Adams "the subjects chosen were predominantly colonial, with no less than six featuring prison themes, usually with an innocent man receiving a pardon or making his escape."[2] Most of them also had a strongly Australian flavour.[3]

At one stage the company was earning over £300 a week and employing six lecturers to accompany the films. However they had trouble finding a market for their work and the company later wound up and merged into Universal Films Ltd in 1912.[4][5][6]



  1. ^ "NOTES AND COMMENTS". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 6 July 1911. p. 11. Retrieved 25 January 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years, Currency Press 1989 p41
  3. ^ "KING'S PICTURE HALL". Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 27 October 1912. p. 16 Section: First Section. Retrieved 26 January 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Advertising". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 27 March 1912. p. 4. Retrieved 25 January 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "PLAYS PLAYERS VAUDEVILLE & MOTION PICTURES". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 18 May 1912. p. 6. Retrieved 25 January 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 15

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Australian Life Biograph Company
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