FILM AUSTRALIA COLLECTION

Title Details

Cane Toads - An Unnatural History

This humorous program takes a close look at Australia's cane toad pest problem.
Year : 1987 | Total Duration : 47 Minutes |
Director : Mark Lewis |
Writer/ Director Mark Lewis with a stuffed Cane toad.
ECUs eyes of cane toads. Low angle MS of Bill Freeland, Bill Hey, Superintendant Len Cook, Tip Byrne and Elvie Grieg briefly giving their views on cane toads. CU of cane toad's face with zoom out to toad being held in smiling young girl's lap. High angle zoom out.
Access No. 127291 | 59 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
WS sugar cane plantation with mountains in background. ECU tilt down cane stalks to earth revealing grubs in plant roots.
Access No. 127574 | 16 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
CU archival B&W photograph of cane grower Tip Byrne as a baby on his mother's lap then FS adult Byrne being interviewed next to dam on his experiences with cane beetles. B&W WS still of sugar cane plantation with people walking in swarm of cane beetles.
Access No. 127575 | 18 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
CU archival 1935 B&W photograph of former Director of the Bureau of Sugar Dr Bill Kerr then MS adult Kerr being interviewed. CU grubs on soil and ECU of them feeding on cane roots. GS farmer plucking cane from ground.
Access No. 127576 | 24 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Early evening WS of large building in Puerto Rico where a world conference of sugar technologists was held in 1932 with voice-over of speech by entomologist Raquel Dexter made at the time. CU cane toad entering screen with building in background. Further MS interview with Dr Bill Kerr.
Access No. 127577 | 45 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
CUs silhouette of person capturing cane toads at night with VS toads including silhouette of toad dangling upside-down held by one leg before being bagged. MS interview with Dr Bill Kerr.
Access No. 127578 | 20 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
WS Hawaiians in native dress waving. CU crate being wheeled to train and VS steam train travelling through countryside and over bridges. Very good CU of Cane toad peering through slat in timber crate and travelling shots of sugar cane plantations POV toad in crate then of Gordonvale station platform as train pulls in. CU map of Australia marking Gordonvale in state of Queensland and portrait still of RW Mungomery and still of greenhouse. VS toads being released to pool for breeding.
Access No. 127579 | 1 min 6 secs | 1980s | Hawaii, US; Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Interview with Tip Byrne sitting on grass next to ponds relating the story of where cane toads were released in the 1940s with CU to specific pond of release.
Access No. 127580 | 32 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
ECUs of cane toads' eyes and CUs of pairs mating (amplexus) in pond. MS interview with Dr Glen Ingram in laboratory discussing amplexus and imitating mating call of toads intercut with ECUs of toads doing same. VS Ingram demonstrating amplexus w th pair of cane toads. Zoom out from pair of cane toads performing amplexus on a rock and CUs of pairs moving about together and underwater shots of eggs being released and fertilised. ECUs of cane toad egg strings suspended in water. ECUs development of eggs to tadpoles to toads. ECUs of tadpoles feeding in pond.
Access No. 127581 | 3 mins 43 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
CU white shoe of Dr Bill Freeland walking through shallow waters of original release site Little Mulgrave River through hundreds of cane toad tadpoles and GS collecting tadpoles with net. CU of scores of cane toad tadpoles in Freeland's hand. ECU's tadpoles with legs visible in shallow mossy water and then as small toads on gravel. WS billabongs of cane toad habitat with sunset sky.
Access No. 127582 | 1 min 32 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
B&W photograph of ES (Tom) Edgerton, former member of Cane Pest Board, then current day interview with him discussing proliferation of cane toads. WS of billabong toad habitat at sunset and CU of cane toad in pond. CU cane toad on road at night in rain with car coming around corner. MS interview with Dr Glen Ingram to camera discussing failure of the cane toad to eradicate cane grub and beetle.
Access No. 127583 | 1 min 8 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS interview with Gordonvale cane farmer Pat White to camera wearing old straw hat. CU machinery being driven through sugar cane field. MS Interview with Tip Byrne discussing white man's intervention in the ecosystem. GS cane toads sitting by muddy roadside in rain with VS shots of cars driving past from various angles. Interior views from car travelling in rain with windscreen wipers going and audio of radio news item of man impersonating Joh Bjelke-Peterson imitating cane toad.
Access No. 127584 | 1 min 23 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS interview with Dr Bill Kerr with family wedding portraits in background. GS yard of Brisbane house at night with cane toads swarming over backyard. MS John Oakes singing in shower with shots to toads outside then climbing stairs towards shower in the threatening vein of √íPsycho√ď with dramatic sound track. Man peers out of shower startled by sight of cane toads.
Access No. 127585 | 1 min 13 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
WS map of Australia with black marks extending over map representing geographical spread of cane toads. MS interview with cartoonist and social commentator Patrick Cook talking about Queenslanders attitude to cane toads. VS cane toads on roadside and crossing to cane fields. Voice-over of talk-back show with caller relating cane toad story. CU signpost to Gordonvale amongst others. VS car driving along Queensland roads and interior shots of driver along streets.
Access No. 127586 | 1 min 26 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
CU archival photograph then MS interview with Gordonvale resident David Sondergard wearing singlet expressing his fondness for the cane toad to camera. MS interview with Animal Ecologist Dr Rob Floyd discussing humans' relationship with cane toads. WS white Queenslander house with CUs of toads in various spots around the house including in rubber boots, under houses, in garden. WS illuminated insects flying in night sky. GS cane toads sitting in pool of light in garden to feed from insects. CU cane toad.
Access No. 127587 | 58 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Interview with Gordonvale resident David Sondergard sitting in his back yard with CUs to toads gathered around his thonged feet. CUs woman feeding cat food to cane toads on outside porch. MS interview with Redcliffe resident Elvie Grieg seated at desk talking about feeding cat food to cane toads. CUs of pairs of toads mating in garden at night. David Sondergard and Elvie Grieg speaking of their fondness for the toads. CUs and ECUs of cane toad faces.
Access No. 127588 | 2 mins 30 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
VS car driving along Queensland town of Gordonvale including from driver's perspective. Voice-over with talk-back radio discussion regarding cane toads. WS car down historic row of commercial buildings and statue of cane toad on pedestal. Interview with Councillor Max Ackland seated at desk in Mulgrave Shire Council discussing proposed monument to the cane toad. CU B&W archival photograph of old homestead at Meringa. CUs of postcards from the Big Banana, the Big Shell, the Big Cow and the Dog on the Tucker Box. CU cane farmer Tip Byrne expressing dismay at the idea of celebrating the cane toad. Unusual footage. WS cane toad statue with Cairns Civic Centre in background then made to fade from view.
Access No. 127590 | 1 min 43 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Interview with National Library Binding conservator, Brian Hawke, to camera showing book presented to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer bound in cane toad skin. CU of book with toad next to it. MS Hawke reading out thank you letter received by the Department of Defense from Prince Charles. ECU track across poison sacks and eye of cane toad. MS Dr Bob Endean, Associate Professor of Zoology, Queensland University, handling cane toad and talking of effects of cane toad toxin.
Access No. 127591 | 1 min 27 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS Dr Michael Archer, Associate Professor of Zoology, University of NSW relating story of the distressing death of a native cat in his care from cane toad poisoning to camera. Brief shot of photo of Dr Archer holding native cat. VS Dr Endean demonstrating ejection of poison from glans on cane toad.
Access No. 127592 | 1 min 30 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Sequence with young woman playing with toddler on rug in back yard intercut with footage of Dr Endean discussing poisonous nature of cane toads. CUs of touch phone and mother answering leaving toddler Edgar playing on rug outside. ECUs cane toad and POV shot toddler running up to cane toad and CUs playing with it.
Access No. 127595 | 1 min 40 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
ECU face of Dr Michael Archer telling of experience with temporary blindness from cane toad poison after hitting a toad with his pick. CU hand manipulating poison glan on cane toad. CUs cane toad drug abuser rolling and smoking cigarette in darkened room talking to camera. GS police car in hazy traffic with blue light flashing and CU cane toad peeking out from behind tree. MS Bill Lane, Lecturer in Law at Queensland University speaking about cane toad drug abuse and legal implications. Shots from inside police car as Queensland police drive along city street.
Access No. 127596 | 2 mins 28 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
CU Detective Inspector sign on door. MS Detective Inspector Syd Churchill of Cairns Police sitting at desk in office discussing cane toad drug use. Tilt from cane toad to billy suspended over camp fire. MS drug abuser in darkened room talking largely incoherently about using boiled down cane toads while smoking.
Access No. 127597 | 59 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Car driving along country road POV driver with voice-over of news reader reading item on cane toads and WS car crossing bridge. CU cane toad in pond and underwater shots of goldfish. GS cane toads on wall at back of house. MS Paul De Vine from North Qld Aquarium Society talking about captive cane toads raiding various tanks killing fish. CU tilts to toads jumping into goldfish tank and pursuing them. CUs B&W photo of De Vine holding metal pipe with bucket full of dead cane toads at his feet. MS interview with Dr Glen Ingram and CUs of cane toads attempting to amplex on his foot and hand.
Access No. 127598 | 2 mins 18 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Re-enactment of car of 1950s vintage driving along country road towards camera and interior view POV driver. CUs kookaburra and VS man outside car looking through binoculars at male cane toad amplexing dead female on road. CU man shaking head in disbelief.
Access No. 127599 | 1 min 30 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Cane toad riding on roof of toy car and MS interview with Gordonvale resident Marie Roth talking about children she knew who had cane toads as pets. CUs small girl Monica playing roughly with pet cane toad Dairy Queen and chasing it when it hops away. CUs of Monica scratching toad's tummy. MS Bettina Dalton, Ranger with Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, holding cane toad and dispelling some myths about them. Car driving slowly through cane fields towards camera.
Access No. 127600 | 3 mins 39 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS Marie Roth talking about eating habits of cane toads and WS suburban house with dog wandering across lawn and cane toad in extreme foreground. Short interviews with Bill Hey, Dr Rob Floyd and Pat White VS cane toads catching and eating insects. Good CU of toad's tongue whipping out to capture grasshopper. CU toad pursuing ping pong ball bouncing past.
Access No. 127601 | 1 min 57 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Good CU of white mouse perched on cane toad's back then walking amongst group of toads with ECUs of toads' eyes until caught and eaten by toad. ECUs of cane toad. Dr Glen Ingram showing Death Adder killed by cane toad and farmer Tip Byrne speaking on environmental damage caused by toad with CU of snake moving on grass.
Access No. 127602 | 1 min 18 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS Dr Michael Archer speaking of ecological problems caused by cane toads. CU kookaburra and CU Eastern Spotted Quoll at night and MS goanna. MS Tip Byrne. Various CUs cane toad road kill. WS and CUs of Brent Vincent swerving across road in his Kombi van towards camera squashing cane toads.
Access No. 127604 | 2 mins 13 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
Various interviews with Elvie Grieg, Dr Bill Kerr and Dr Rob Floyd. MS Dr Freeland standing in pond holding handfuls of cane toads. Zoom to CU toads. FS map of Australia showing spread of cane toads across surface.
Access No. 127605 | 2 mins 55 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
ECUs cane toad tadpoles and good track of camera following toad hopping through rushes. VS cars along North Queensland roads and past sugar cane fields and VS cane toads hopping around different habitats. ECU track along bitumen road POV travelling car over Brisbane's Storey Bridge. WS cane toad in foreground with Storey Bridge in background. Cane toad on grass with city buildings in background. CU track following cane toad jumgping along road. MS cane toad in field with jet plane climbing into sky overhead. End shot tilts from CU cane toad to Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Access No. 127606 | 2 mins 10 secs | 1980s | Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |