What Women Suffer

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What Women Suffer
Directed by Alfred Rolfe
Based on play by H. G. Brandon
Starring Alfred Rolfe
Production
company
Release date
2 October 1911 (Melbourne)
Running time
4,000 feet[1]
Country Australia
Language Silent film
English intertitles

What Women Suffer is a 1911 Australian silent film directed by Alfred Rolfe. It is a Victorian melodrama, complete with a climax where a little child is placed on a moving saw bench and is considered a lost film.[2]

Plot[edit]

In England, Edith Norton is married to a dashing naval officer, Lt Coventry, who bears a resemblance to Jack Baxter, a common thief. Edith's father is killed by Baxter and Coventry is framed for this by the evil Herbert Standish who has designs on Edith. Partly convicted on the testimony of his son, Cedric, Coventry is thrown in prison.

Years earlier Standish had abandoned Nance, daughter of the old gardener, Meredith, leaving her to starve. She married Baxter, who gave her a terrible life.

Edith and Cedric are lured to a sawmill by a forged letter from Standish. Standish places the boy on a saw bench and threatens to cut him unless the girl marries her. But Coventry escapes from prison in time to rescue the boy and the girl. Baxter confesses and Coventry and Edith are reunited.[3][4]

The chapter headings were:[5]

  • The return of Lt Coventry
  • The fatal resemblance
  • The Murder on the Lawn
  • Coventry accused of the crime
  • His own child convicts him
  • The daring escape from the quarry
  • The great thrilling sawmill scene
  • Out of the jaws of death
  • At the point of the revolver
  • The confession
  • Hunted by the police
  • Freedom at last.

Cast[edit]

Original Play[edit]

What Women Suffer
Written by H.G. Brandon
Original language English
Genre Melodrama

The film was based on a popular four-act melodrama which had been produced on the Australian stage by Philip Lytton.[6][7][8]

Production[edit]

According to contemporary reports the film "was produced at enormous cost solely for the Lyric" Theatre in Melbourne.[9]

Release[edit]

The film proved popular with audiences when screened at the two Lyric Theatres in Brunswick and Prahan in Melbourne.[2] It later screened in Sydney,[10] Adelaide[11] and throughout the country. Box office reception was strong.[12]

The Evening News called the film "a triumph in that art of cinematography... the lead parts are well sustained.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Advertising.". The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser. NSW: National Library of Australia. 19 December 1911. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 24
  3. ^ "What Women Suffer.". The Cairns Post. Qld.: National Library of Australia. 17 May 1912. p. 8. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "What Women Suffer.". The Cairns Post. Qld.: National Library of Australia. 17 May 1912. p. 8. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "EMPRESS PAVILION.". Williamstown Chronicle. Vic.: National Library of Australia. 14 October 1911. p. 3. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "OLD PROGRAMMES.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 1 February 1936. p. 5. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "HIS MAJESTY'S MOVING THEATRE.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 4 June 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  8. ^ ""WHAT WOMEN SUFFER.".". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 23 September 1912. p. 3. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "News and Notes.". The Coburg Leader (Vic. : 1890–1913). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 6 October 1911. p. 1. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "VICTORIA PICTURES.". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 15 October 1911. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Advertising.". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 25 November 1911. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "NOTES AND EVENTS.". The Colac Herald. National Library of Australia. 5 January 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "AUSTRALIAN CINEMATOGRAPHY.". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 26 September 1911. p. 4. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]