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Robbery Under Arms


This 1920 silent film was made by Kenneth Brampton, who wrote, produced, directed and starred in it. The story concerns a real life bushranger (outlaw) named Captain Starlight, who became a national hero (like Ned Kelly). It is based on a classic Australian novel by Rolf Boldrewood (the pen name of Thomas Browne). This was the third film of the novel. The first, directed by Charles McMahon, was an early feature film made shortly after "The Story of the Kely Gang". The second was made in 1911. The 1957 Rank Organisation production starring Peter Finch was one of the most popular Australian films of the 1950s. It was again remade as a TV mini-series in 1985 starring Sam Neill. The 1920 version is one of the few surviving independently produced Australian silent films. This version comes from a video tape released by the New South Wales Department of Education, Sydney in 1984. This is from a multi-generational VHS copy. I have put the video through as much video noise reduction as I could without effecting the image. Its not very good quality but this is a decent movie and a valuable artifact. There is no musical soundtrack. This video is completely silent.

Kenneth Brampton
This film is Public Domain in Australia because the film and literary copyrights have expired. The literary rights in the novel expired 31 December 1965 (50 years after the year of death of the author Rolf Baldrewood (Thomas Browne) The Copyright in the film expired 31 December 1970 (end of the 50th year after the release of the film.) Kenneth Brampton's date of birth and death are unkown. The video tape the film is sourced from was dedicated to the public domain with the provision that is is "free to copy. But must not be broadcast on television."

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