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Frank Morris
Frank Morris. 27 June 2024

Past Olympics: Australia chosen to host the Olympic Games


In the southern Hemisphere at last. An excited Australia  brought home 35 gold, silver, and bronze. This was an outstanding performance.

The 1956 Olympics Games are the first to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere. They’re also the first to be held as late as November and December.

TOP: Spirit of the 1956 Olympics is exhibited by these three radiant girls, (from left) Betty Cutbert, Norma Croker and double gold medallist, Marlene Mathews. ABOVE: Australia’s great jumper, Jack Metcalfe, who was a bronze at Berlin in 1936. He went on to managed Australia track team in 1948 and chief jump referee at Melbourne in 1956.

“Ten of the previous twelve Games have been held in July and August,” according to Martin Tyler and Phil Soar in the book, The History of the Olympics.

A close finish! The women’s 4 x 100 metres relay – the winner Betty Cuthbert (Australia), Heather Armitage (Great Britain) and Isabelle Daniels (USA) for the new world time of 44.5.

That didn’t stop 67 nations sending some 2800 men and 370 women to compete in the 16 sports.

Three counties also were represented for the first time – Kenya, Malaya and Ethiopia.“ 

The suppression of the Hungarian uprising by Russia and the British and French adventure in the Middle East had resulted in the withdrawal of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, The Netherlands and Spain,” according to The History of Olympics Games.

The MCG’s newly laid track was described as “a fine setting” for open-field events; and at the new 5500-seat swimming pool at Olympic Park, the Games “were an unqualified triumph for Australia and an equally disastrous event for the United States.”

Australia has competed in every Olympics Games since 1896. – FM.

Betty Cuthbert equals Marjorie Jackson’s record time of 23.4 in the final of the women’s 200 metres.


Melbourne – the site of the Olympics Games



OZ Spot: Screen Oddities


The Lady of the Cross 

Beatrice Einsiedel was a very sprightly 80-year-old when she was interviewed by author Eric Reade in the seventies. In her films and elsewhere she has used the name of Beatrice Day to this day. She recalled portraying Nero’s wife in the film, Soldier of the Cross. The film was made in 1900. She was claiming to have made the world’s first full-length production. Many parts of the film were shot on the tennis court, near a Salvation Army Home, at Murrumbeena, Melbourne, close to what is now known at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Directed by Joseph Perry, who was the De Mille” before his time. The film portrays the Christian being pelted with rock and stone and jumping off a high pit into incandescent lime. One of the most powerful points in the drama shows the other martyrs as they were thrown to the lion; and Christian Bishop was burnt at the stake. That scene was certainly realistic.

<< Rewritten by Frank Morris from The Australian Screen,1976.


What was the first movie?

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