Based on the Australian classic by Marcus Clarke, the story of convict Rufus Dawe was based on fact and reflects that of many convicts of Australia's early days. Rufus Dawe has been wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit, and sent to the harsh penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, Australia - for the term of his natural life. In his attempts to escape the colony forever, he falls in love with a warden's daughter, Sylvia, confronts his sinister lookalike John Rex, and the evil convict Gabbet. American director Norman Dawn's movie adaptation strays from the original book but retains a strong visual style, especially in climactic crowd scenes. It is notorious as the movie that was meant to launch Australia into the world movie market, but instead cost investors thousands after the coming of sound stymied its potential for overseas success. Written by
Camille Scaysbrook <email@example.com>
All the Wealth of a Nation!
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Did You Know?
According to an advert in the Sydney Sunday Times (24/7/27), the Australasian Films Ltd. spent 60,000 pounds to make this film. See more
On two intertitles, Van Diemen's Land is misspelled as 'Van Dieman's Land'. See more
Referenced in Smithereens