Back

Officer 666

This two-minute clip is taken from the Australian-made 1916 silent comedy Officer 666, based on a Broadway play. The director, Fred Niblo, also stars as millionaire Travers Gladwin. To foil an art theft, Gladwin disguises himself as Police Officer 666. However, one of the thieves arrives disguised as Gladwin, and merry confusion ensues.

As war raged across Europe, and Hollywood began building cinema audiences internationally, the Australian film industry was thriving. An impressive 16 feature films were released in 1916. Officer 666 was one of four features released by theatrical company J.C. Williamson. Williamson aimed to film hit US plays before the American companies, and then import them into Australia.

Year:1916

Location:Melbourne, Australia

See someone you know? Email us

Close

Officer 666

This two-minute clip is taken from the Australian-made 1916 silent comedy Officer 666, based on a Broadway play. The director, Fred Niblo, also stars as millionaire Travers Gladwin. To foil an art theft, Gladwin disguises himself as Police Officer 666. However, one of the thieves arrives disguised as Gladwin, and merry confusion ensues.

As war raged across Europe, and Hollywood began building cinema audiences internationally, the Australian film industry was thriving. An impressive 16 feature films were released in 1916. Officer 666 was one of four features released by theatrical company J.C. Williamson. Williamson aimed to film hit US plays before the American companies, and then import them into Australia.


Year: 1916

Length: 02:04

Production Company: J.C. Williamson Photo Comedy

Credits: Cast: Fred Niblo, Enid Bennett

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: 6496 Officer


Location: Melbourne, Australia


Officer 666 was a successful Broadway comedy in 1912, starring US actor Fred Niblo. He went on to both direct and star in this film version, playing millionaire Travers Gladwin. When Gladwin hears that thieves plan to steal his art collection, he disguises himself as Officer 666 to observe the criminal activity. When the crook arrives, he too is disguised, as Gladwin himself.

The film was released in March 1916 and toured Australia until late1917.

In 1916 Niblo also directed Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, again based on a stage play. Both films feature the young Australian actress Enid Bennett. She went on to the US to try her luck in movies, married Niblo after his first wife’s death, and became a star in spite of her less-than-dazzling film debut.

Close

Officer 666

  • 00:00

    Police Patrol Wagon pulls up

  • 00:05

    Intertitle: ‘I’ve come for those thieves’. ‘He is in the house, but we can’t find him’

  • 00:10

    Police officers enter the house

  • 00:12

    Intertitle” ‘We’ve got you now, you thief’

  • 00:15

    Police officer grabs the ‘thief’ but it’s the wrong man

  • 00:33

    The women of the house enter

  • 00:46

    A man emerges from a trunk on the floor and the officer grabs him

  • 01:00

    The real thief emerges from the fireplace. He chloroforms the officer with help from the first man. They steal his uniform and hide him in the trunk