Spencer: From Movie Mogul To Murderer — Part Two

From making pioneering bushranger films and launching the careers of Australia’s most famous early stars to a bitter business betrayal and a bloody murder in the remote wilderness, the conclusion to movie mogul Cosens Spencer’s story is like something from the silver screen. But it’s all true.

Cosens Spencer
Mary Stuart Cosens — aka Senora Spencer — alongside her husband.
The Senora at work.
Lottie Lyell, our first film star, given her first movie role by Spencer.
The Romantic Story of Margaret Catchpole: made in 1911, this 26 minutes of footage is all that remains of Spencer’s prodigious feature film career.
Lottie Lyell as lady convict Margaret Catchpole.
An early Kinemacolor film frame — this was the first colour film process,
introduced to Australia by Spencer in 1913.
Also in 1913: Spencer introduced Edison’s Kinetophone sound pictures.
Another of Spencer’s surviving films: a record of the 1913 naming
of Canberra as Australia’s future capital city.
Australia Calls was Spencer’s 1913 racist anti-invasion Asian-scare film.
The biggest set piece of Australia Calls was “The Burning Of Sydney”, achieved
via model work and trick photography.
Views of Spencer’s Rushcutters Bay studio after it had been rebranded by The Combine.

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