What a great film! This Australian silent from 1918 is as action-packed as any Hollywood blockbuster. Starring, in his film debut, the great Australian Olympian REGINALD "SNOWY" BAKER, Australia's answer to Tom Mix and Douglas Fairbanks, this is the story of a crusading secret agent, newly returned from World War 1, who goes after a sinister spy ring in Sydney. Shoot-outs, explosions, car chases, high-dives, horse chases - they're all here! Snowy is terrific in the lead role - charming and agile. And it is great to see an Aboriginal actor in what is the second lead in the film - Snowy's off-sider and tracker. Nice performance here from SANDY MCVEA, a famous boxer. LILY MOLLOY lacks spunk as the heroine, but BILLY RYAN is exceptional as the evil villain Warne. This appears to be the only film ever directed by ROLAND STAVELY, but he does a great job - showing strong technical skills for 1918. The surviving print of the film, held by ScreenSound Australia, the National Screen and Sound Archive, in Canberra, is almost complete, but does show some nitrate damage. So few Australian films survive from this era and it is sad to think what other gems may have been lost. Certainly THE ENEMY WITHIN is a rare treat!
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