National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
The Sheep Stealer
Stealing a sheep is not as easy as it might seem! They are hefty, unwieldy beasts as the desperate father with starving family discovers in this William Haggar production.
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One of film pioneer William Haggar's longer productions, this film shows a man desperate to provide for his starving wife and children. Oblivious to the chickens pecking about outside his cottage, he decides to steal a sheep - not, as is evident, an easy item to carry away from the scene of the crime. Like all Haggar productions, this is a family affair: William's son James plays the sheep stealer, and James's own wife and children play the poor man's family.
A portrait of William Haggar (1851-1925), a travelling showman and film pioneer based in south Wales from the 1880s onwards, appears on the two inter-titles included on this film, which was shot possibly in Pembrokeshire, a favourite filming haunt of Haggar's, or further south. Using his family as actors, he produced many popular films but few survive. He moved from showing films at markets and fairs in mobile accommodation to established cinemas in Pembroke, Llanelli and Aberdare and became almost part of the establishment, being elected onto the Merthyr Board of Guardians and the Aberdare Urban Council.