Henry Southwell CARDELL

Called:- Harry Southwell

Born:- 1882, Llandaff, Glamorgan Died:- ?

Child of: Henry Southwell and Sarah Ann CARDELL

Marriage: Henry Southwell and Madeleine Faith CARDELL

Picture of Henry Southwell CARDELL

Biographical notes

Following reproduced from an undated press cutting (about 1925?) in a Pettigrew family scrapbook

quote: Actor and Producer


quote : Wales, as yet, is able to boast of comparatively few people who have attained a prominent position in the film world, and a still fewer number of successful film producers.

quote : One of the few, however, is Mr Harry Southwell, a native of Cardiff, who was responsible for the production of "The Bells", the film version of the Late Sir Henry Irving's immortal play, which was privately shown at the Olympia, Cardiff, to-day.

quote : Mr Southwell is not only a successful producer, but his work in the part of "Mathias" in this picture stamps him as an artist of no mean ability.

quote : Mr Southwell, who is a brother of Mrs Hugh Pettigrew, St. Fagan's, and a brother-in-law of Mr A.A. Pettigrew, the Cardiff Parks Superintendent, left Cardiff in his early days and went to Clifton, where he was educated at the Grammar School. He then spent three Years in London under Hermon Vezin, and later, for five years, was with the Vitagraph Company in America where he picturised and supervised over 80,000ft. of the O. Henry stories.

quote : Going to Australia, he produced "The Kelly Gang" and other films, and in Paris Biblical stories, including "The 7th Commandment".

quote : "The Bells" took 5 1/2 months to produce last year, and is half Belgian and half British.

quote : Mr Southwell is now leaving for Australia where he is to produce four pictures for Australian Players Ltd.

quote : Hi Pamela, As promised, what follows is an extract from the book Australian Film 1900-1977, about Harry Southwell Cardell. What you need to know to understand it is that the Kelly gang was a very famous band of outlaws (bushrangers in Australian parlance) who were kind of local heroes, though on the wrong side of the law. The film called Le Juif Polonais is also known as The Bells; the bits of text in square brackets are my additions, relating to members of my family. Also attached is a photo of Harry, taken in Australia around 1920. I hope you can open it, it seems to be rather a large file. Harry is in the centre, looking rather dashing; his wife Madeleine Faith (known always as Faith), who married him in September 1917 in New York, is in front of him, with apple; her brother, my grandfather, is the one with the pipe looking cross. Harry and Faith had a son, named John, but unfortunately we have lost track of him. Regards, Roz

Following information extracted from Pike, Andrew and Cooper, Ross 1980. Australian Film 1900-1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production. Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

quote : Harry Southwell was a Welsh-born actor and writer who spent several years in America before coming to Australia. In 1917-18 he had adapted numerous short stories by O. Henry into scenarios for a series of films produced by Broadway Star Features in America. This screen-writing experience tended to be represented by Southwell in Australia as experience in production and direction, and he was quickly able to impress enough businessmen to gain backing for a local production company. With a koala as his trademark, and promoting himself extensively as 'The Welsh Wizard', he announced plans for five Australian features and for the construction of a studio in Sydney. The first production was The Kelly Gang, a subject with a supposedly ready-made audience and ample scope for cheaply staged outdoor action. [The credits list Southwell himself as producer, screenwriter and the actor taking the role of Sergeant Steele. Listed as assistant director is 'P. Gatwood'.] Shooting began late in 1919 using a temporary outdoor studio in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. Southwell's inexperience in production is clearly evident in the footage that survives today in the National Film Archive: the sets are grotesquely under-dressed and are exposed to the full glare of sunlight, with heavy shadows across the roofless studio interiors.

quote : After his next film, The Hordern Mystery (1920) [with a screenplay by Miss M. F. Gatwood, adapted from the novel by Edward Finn], Southwell's plans for continuous production unexpectedly collapsed. He attempted to set up another company in mid-1921, but this also failed, and early in 1922 he ran for cover with a low-budget remake of the Kelly story, 'When the Kellys Were Out'. Southwell turned to Kelly twice again in his career (in 1934 and 1947) but at no stage did the story help get him out of trouble. He remained throughout the rest of his life on the shadowy fringes of Australian production, except for a period spent in Europe after 1923, where he made a biblical drama, David (1924) [made on location in Palestine and in studios in Belgium, this epic apparently featured Madeline Southwell as Bathsheba's maid], and Le Juif Po 'lonais' (1925), a story that he later refilmed in Australia as The Burgomeister (1935).

Died in Australia sometime after 1947?

Return to alphabetical index