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This article was originally published as:

Vagg, S., & Reynaud, D. (2016). Alfred Rolfe: Forgotten pioneer Australian film director. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 10(2),184-198. doi:10.1080/17503175.2016.1170950

ISSN: 1750-3183


190201 Cinema Studies| 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)

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Alfred Rolfe was arguably the most prolific silent era Australian director, responsible for more than 25 feature films encompassing the bushranger genres, early Australian war cinema, and various melodramas. Many of his films were both critical and commercial successes. The only surviving footage are scenes from two of his 1915 war films. This important director has been overshadowed by his contemporaries, particularly Raymond Longford. This paper argues that Rolfe’s contribution to early Australian cinema was significant not just in volume, but in artistic terms, in subject matter, and in popular appeal. The centenary of Anzac is also the centenary of Australia’s first Gallipoli movie, Rolfe’s The Hero of the Dardanelles (1915), which was one of the most successful films at the box office for its time.


Used by permission: Taylor and Francis and the authors.

The document available for download is an Author’s Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Studies in Australasian Cinema on 7 Jun 2016, available online:

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