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The Overlanders (1946)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 210 users  
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It's the start of WWII in Northern Australia. The Japanese are getting close. People are evacuating and burning everything in a "scorched earth" policy. Rather than kill all their cattle, a... See full summary »



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Title: The Overlanders (1946)

The Overlanders (1946) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Complete credited cast:
Chips Rafferty ...
Dan McAlpine
John Nugent Hayward ...
Bill Parsons
Daphne Campbell ...
Mary Parsons
Jean Blue ...
Mrs. Parsons
Helen Grieve ...
Helen Parsons
John Fernside ...
Peter Pagan ...
Sailor ("Sinbad")
Frank Ransome ...
Stan Tolhurst ...
Marshall Crosby ...
John Fegan ...
Police Sergeant
Clyde Combo ...
Aborigine Jacky
Henry Murdoch ...
Aborigine Nipper


It's the start of WWII in Northern Australia. The Japanese are getting close. People are evacuating and burning everything in a "scorched earth" policy. Rather than kill all their cattle, a disparate group decides to drive them overland half way across the continent. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A dramatic epic that echoes the heart beats of Australia's Greatness!


Adventure | Western


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Overlanders  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

This story is based on fact but the characters are fictitious, any similarity to any name or individual is coincidental. See more »


Featured in 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) See more »


Authorship unknown
Sung by cast members at different times
See more »

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User Reviews

The Ealing touch works as well in Australia as it did in Britain
2 July 2002 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

The acting is a little awkward (Chips Rafferty excepted) and it doesn't matter a damn. It's a problem-solving picture. There's a large herd of cattle on the coast of the Northern territory and six people must lead it overland to pastures just north of Brisbane; obstacles crop up, and we watch, absorbed, as our characters take the most rational path around them. Our heroes (yes, even the Scottish sailor - well, PERHAPS the Scottish sailor) have enough native charm to make us care about them, and even if they didn't, the vastness of the landscape and the detailed realism of their trek would do the job just as well.

Two bonus, uncalled-for pleasures: the music (John Ireland's first and last film score), and the cinematography - amazingly attractive when you consider that Australian landscapes (rather dull to begin with) tend not to photograph well, certainly not in the harsh bright sunlight that Harry Watt, in the interests of realism, chose to shoot in. Watt was right to choose harsh sunlight. The film is half documentary, half fiction, without feeling like an awkward cross between the two. You'll read that Watt's talents were limited, and I can readily believe they were, but in "The Overlanders" his weaknesses come across as little more than extensions of his strengths. It's exactly the film he wanted, needed and in all likelihood was born to make.

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