The Cup Winner

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The Cup Winner
Directed by Alfred Rolfe
Based on play by Philip Lytton and William Lee
Starring Charles Villiers
Production
company
Release date
7 November 1911 (Melbourne)[1]
8 November 1911 (Sydney)[2]
Running time
3,000 feet[3]
Country Australia
Language Silent film
English intertitles

The Cup Winner is a 1911 Australian silent film directed by Alfred Rolfe.[4] It is set against a backdrop of horseracing and the finale involves real footage from the 1911 Melbourne Cup.[1][5]

It was also known as Doping the Favourite.[6]

Synopsis[edit]

Richard Avendal is married with a young son. His wife is being blackmailed by a scoundrel who knows the wife's brother is in prison on a serious charge and demands money for his silence. Avendal sees his wife together with the backmailer and believes he has been unfaithful.

Avendal divorces his wife and gives away their young baby son to an Italian organ grinder. The Italian places the baby in a training stable where he is found by the stable's owner and adopted into his family.

The boy, named Crossie, grows up and becomes a jockey, riding a horse in the Melbourne Cup owned by Richard Avendal. The villain and a comic Jewish bookmaker try to force Crossie to dope the horse but he refuses and rides to victory. The son is reunited with his father via the organ grinder, and Avendal discovers his wife is innocent.[7][8]

The chapter headings were:

  • 'Black mail,'
  • 'A misunderstanding,'
  • 'Jealousy,'
  • 'Divorced,'
  • 'Abandoned,'
  • 'Crossie, the Stable,Boy,'
  • Trials for the Melbourne Cup,'
  • 'The Spy,'
  • 'The Cup,'
  • 'The Burning Stables,'
  • 'Doping the Favorite,'
  • ' Tattersall's Club,'
  • 'paying against the Favorite,'
  • ' The race for the Melbourne Cup, I9I1,'
  • ' Crossie rides his father's horse to victory, '
  • 'The Welsher, '
  • 'Crossie restored to his' Parents,'
  • 'A happy ending.'[9]

Cast[edit]

  • Charles Villiers

Original Play[edit]

The Cup Winner
Written by Philip Lytton
J. C. Lee
Date premiered 1907
Original language English
Genre Melodrama

The film was based on a play which Philip Lytton toured around Australia from 1907 to 1909.[10][11][12]

A Brisbane production centred on the Ascot Gold Cup and involved fourteen real horses racing on stage.[13]

The plot involved Richard Avenal's happy home being wrecked by a blackmailer, Stephen Warland. Avenal's horse Kitchener participates in a horse race against Old Stocking, the blackmailer's horse.[14]

Production and Release[edit]

The film was shot in Sydney in 1911, with additional footage shot at the real 1911 Melbourne Cup by six cameramen. (The Cup was won that year by The Parisian.)[15]

The footage was processed immediately and shown that night, 7 November 1911, at five Melbourne theatres. It was copied and screened in Sydney theatres the next day. Screenings were usually accompanied by a lecturer.[16]

Reception[edit]

The gimmick proved successful and the movie became a major hit around the country, screening as late as February 1912.[5][17] The critic from the Launceston Examiner said the film "justified all that was written of it. It is unquestionably one of the most thorough and most interesting of the Australian Photo-Play Company's productions, and a stirring dramatic story."[18] The Sydney Morning Herald said the film "does not depend on that scene [the Melbourne cup] for its interest, the human side of the drama, where all the varying emotions are admirably portrayed, being absorbing."[19]

The Evening News called it a "splendid picture".[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Advertising.". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 6 November 1911. p. 16. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Advertising.". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 7 November 1911. p. 1. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Advertising.". The Examiner (DAILY ed.). Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 1 February 1912. p. 1. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Advertising.". The Barrier Miner. Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia. 20 November 1911. p. 1. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 27
  6. ^ "CHRONO. PICTURES.". Wellington Times. NSW: National Library of Australia. 24 June 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "EMPIRE THEATRE.". Daily Herald. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 13 November 1911. p. 8. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "HERBERT'S PICTURES.". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. National Library of Australia. 24 September 1912. p. 6. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Melbourne Cup.". The Cobar Herald. NSW: National Library of Australia. 1 December 1911. p. 5. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "THE STAGE.". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 25 May 1907. p. 3. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "PLAYGOERS' DRAMATIC CLUB.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 30 May 1908. p. 14. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  12. ^ ""THE CUP WINNER.".". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 13 July 1907. p. 14. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "ENTERTAINMENTS.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 31 May 1907. p. 3. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "HIS MAJESTY'S TOURING THEATRE.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 25 January 1909. p. 6. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  15. ^ Melbourne Cup winners 1911-1920 accessed 14 September 2013
  16. ^ "Advertising.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 8 November 1911. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  17. ^ on "Advertising.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 6 February 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "E.A. COMPANY AT THE ALBERT HALL.". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 1 February 1912. p. 6 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  19. ^ ""THE CUP WINNER.".". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 10 November 1911. p. 13. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "PICTURE SHOWS.". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 8 November 1911. p. 3. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 

External links[edit]