Melbourne Cup 1896 | Film

Melbourne Cup 1896 | Film

Melbourne's oldest surviving films is the 1896 Melbourne Cup by Marius Sestier.

This film from Australia's audiovisual heritage online documents the 1896 Melbourne Cup horse race including footage of the crowd watching the race.

Marius Sestier shot this film using a Lumiere Cinematographe that he balanced on a tripod to ensure the camera remained steady. This film is one of the earliest Australian films to tell a story by presenting the footage in chronological order.

Melbourne Cup 1896 was screened not only in Australia, but also in London, St Petersburg and Paris soon after the first French cinema was opened that same year.

The Bulletin (28 November 1896) commented how 'beautifully appropriate' it was 'that the first Australian picture presented by the new machine should be a horse race'.

Throughout the film you can see Walter Barnett, the producer of the film, encouraging action and movement by directing the crowd to wave their hats. Although this film is recorded as actuality footage, this manipulation of the action not only indicates the general unfamiliarity people had with moving image but also puts a personal perspective onto Sestier's story.


The video used to be available through YouTube but was removed and replaced with a Private Message. The video can be now seen at National Film and Sound Archive. There are 3 clips in total and beside the historical interest are well worth a look for the dress and the race.

Melbourne Cup 1896 (1896) | View Here

❊ Address ❊

 ⊜  Epsom Road Flemington 3031 View Map
Epsom RoadFlemingtonVictoria

❊ Web Links ❊

Melbourne Cup 1896 | Film 

Melbourne Cup 1896 (Clip 1)

Melbourne Cup 1896 (Clip 2)

Melbourne Cup 1896 (Clip 3)

also see Patineur Grotesque | Australias Oldest Film

❊ Also See.. ❊

Melbourne Cup Day 2024

Disclaimer: Check with the venue (web links) before making plans, travelling or buying tickets.

Accessibility: Contact the venue for accessibility information.

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Melbourne Cup 1896 | Film