Captain Thunderbolt and Other Tales (1948–68) Cecil Holmes
Captain Thunderbolt and Other Tales (1948–68) Cecil Holmes
Captain Thunderbolt and Other Tales (1948–68) Cecil Holmes

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Captain Thunderbolt and Other Tales

To be introduced by film scholar and Captain Thunderbolt devotee, David Donaldson

Cecil Holmes | Australia | Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 19 Oct 2022

Holmes’ opus is one of the most significant films made in Australia before the 1970s revival. A profoundly independent work that robustly demonstrates Holmes’ filmmaking capabilities as well as his qualities as a cinephile and political artist (Henry Lawson and Frank Hardy are both sources), it reframes the common theme of “mateship” within explicitly leftist contexts and provides an indelible portrait of Australia from the 1890s to the 1950s. Preceded by Words for Freedom (Cecil Holmes, 1956, 19 mins – Unclassified 15+). Holmes’ fugue of Henry Lawson, union chronicle and folk tale provides a history of the Australian workers press.

Format: 35mm and 16mm
Language: English
Source: NFSA and ACMI Collections
Courtesy: Amanda Holmes Tzafrir, Cecil Holmes Estate
Runtime: 99 mins

Event duration

99 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 19 October

About the program

At Home in the World: Cecil Holmes, Activist Filmmaker (Wed 19 Oct)

Although born in New Zealand, Cecil Holmes (1921–1994) is one of the most significant and ambitious filmmakers to work in Australia during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. A dedicated leftist, his work consistently demonstrated a humanist commitment to the socially disenfranchised, ranging from the underlying capitalist conditions that force decent citizens into bushranging and stealing to the social and economic conditions confronting Indigenous communities in contemporary Australia (the latter works often made in collaboration with his wife, anthropologist and activist Sandra Le Brun Holmes).

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Cecil Holmes on set

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