In 1831, Irishman Charles Adare travels to Australia to start a new life with the help of his cousin who has just been appointed governor. When he arrives he meets powerful landowner and ex-convict Sam Flusky, who wants to do a business deal with him. Whilst attending a dinner party at Flusky's house, Charles meets Flusky's wife Henrietta who he had known as a child back in Ireland. Henrietta is an alcoholic and seems to be on the verge of madness. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1958, Cahiers du Cinema (French Film Magazine) voted Under Capricorn (1949) as one of the ten greatest films of all time. See more »
The opening narration declares that "In 1770 Captain Cook discovered Australia". While James Cook led one of the first British expeditions to Australia, other European explorers had visited the country before him. See more »
In seventeen-hundred and seventy, Captain Cook discovered Australia. Sixty years later, the city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had grown on the edge of three million square miles of unknown land. The colony exported raw materials. It imported material even more raw - prisoners, many of them unjustly convicted, who were to be shaped into the pioneers of a great dominion. In eighteen-hundred and thirty-one King William the Fourth sent a new governor to rule the colony. ...
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While certainly uncharacteristic of Hitchcock's American films this film still has the Master's unmistakable imprint. Joseph Cotton is excellent in his role as a common man who resents the upper class of which he can never be a part. The rest of the actors do a fine job including Ingrid Bergman's turn as Cotton's drunk half mad wife. Perhaps the best and most interesting aspect of the film is the gorgeous Technicolor cinematography by Jack Cardiff. Cardiff who is probably best known for his work with Powell and Pressburger does a great job bringing the rich color of this period piece to the screen. The camera work is also characteristically Hitchcock with many long traveling shots with wonderfully complex compositions. The pace is slow and lacking suspense, but the characters and the situations are interesting and make the film work despite the pacing problems. Certainly not one of Hitchcock's strongest films, but definitely worth watching.
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