Australian Comedy Films of the 1930s: Modernity, the Urban and the International
Comedy has been a perpetual part of Australian film, in which humour reflects Australia's adaptation in times of crisis, social change and technological advances. This was never more so than in the 1930s, when Australia produced more comedy feature films than in any other decade before 1970. These films of the 1930s embraced the new technology of sound, made local vaudeville performers into movie stars, offered escape from the Depression and revealed a diverse and international Australia. In these films, Australia moved further from Empire and the bush, forged the Digger legend, responded to cultural diversity and viewed itself as a modern, urban nation. Influenced by Hollywood, Australian comedies of the 1930s adapted international styles to local points of view. Based on research at the National Film and Sound Archive, academic Lesley Speed provides new insight into Australian comedy films of the 1930s and the extraordinary period of social change in which they were produced.