|The Assigned Servant|
Production still from the film
|Directed by||John Gavin|
|Produced by|| Herbert Finlay |
|Written by||Agnes Gavin|
Crick and Finlay
|26 August 1911|
|Budget||£300 or £500|
The Assigned Servant is a 1911 Australian silent film about a convict who is transported to Van Diemen's Land. It was made by the husband-and-wife team of John and Agnes Gavin and is considered a lost film.
In England, Ralph Frawley is arrested for rabbit poaching and transported to Van Diemen's Land as a convict. He is assigned as a servant to a settler and falls in love with the daughter of the house. He marries her in secret but when this is revealed he is sent back to prison to serve the rest of his term. He escapes by a spectacular leap and swims to freedom. He turns to bushranging and robs the mail coach. He is saved by his aboriginal friend during a fight with police. After learning his wife has died he returns to England.
Filming took under a month, which over a week spent on location.During the shoot, two actors injured themselves during a scene where they fought on top of a cliff and fell twenty feet below into the water. The actor Frank Gardiner cut his head falling from a horse during a chase scene, and an actor playing a trooper had four teeth knocked out during a fight.
Filming took place in the National Park, with Georges River heavily featured.
According to Gavin the film was a big success.
Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, part of Australia. The name was changed from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania in 1856.
= Pontefract, Yorkshire | alias= Demon Bushranger | birth_date= c.1787 | birth_place= | death_date=21 October 1818 | cause= Died in struggle | victims= 5+ | country=Australia | states=Tasmania | beginyear= | endyear= | apprehended= | penalty= }}
John F. Gavin, born as John Francis Henry Gavin was an Australian film director, who was one of the early filmmakers of the 1910s. He is best known for making films about bushrangers such as Captain Thunderbolt, Captain Moonlite, Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner. He was known by the nickname "Jack" and worked in collaboration with his wife Agnes, who wrote many of his films, most of which have not survived.
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