In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family--Paddy, Ida and their teenage son Sean--are sheep drovers, always on the move. Ida and Sean want to settle down and buy a farm. Paddy wants to ... See full summary »
In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family--Paddy, Ida and their teenage son Sean--are sheep drovers, always on the move. Ida and Sean want to settle down and buy a farm. Paddy wants to keep moving. A sheep-shearing contest, the birth of a child, drinking, gambling and a race horse will all have a part in the final decision. Written by
Jeanne Armintrout <email@example.com>
[on hearing Venneker had been a ship's captain]
Why'd you leave?
My stomach. I was a notoriously bad sailor.
Dad says you must have been a better sailor than you are a horseman.
What the devil is he talking about? I was cashiered from the 17th Lancers before he knew one end of a horse from the other! NOT that he does now! Hah!
What does cashiered mean?
Uh - kind of promotion from the army into civilian life.
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Robert Mitchum had one undeniable talent as an actor, his phenomenal ability to pick up and use any kind of accent or dialect. I can't think of another actor who could have so convincingly played a New England hood in The Friends of Eddie Coyle, native Irish in Ryan's Daughter and A Terrible Beauty, and pure Australian in The Sundowners. Although the rest of the cast is great, it's his performance that pivots the whole film.
The movie itself is amazing in that the characters created are so engaging that even though the film really has no plot, just a series of connected wanderings, you enjoy it nevertheless. The film ending is also offbeat. Normally you would think that Deborah Kerr would win out in her desire to settle down on a farm. But unusual for Hollywood she gives in to Mitchum's wanderlust.
In their travels herding sheep through rural Australia of the 1920s these people, hardworking and living close to the poverty line look like their lives are fun. Like Mitchum's Paddy Carmody says he has no worries and no ulcers because he doesn't own any property or has any money in the bank. A whole lot like the real Mitchum in his Kerouac like youth. It's what makes this film just good fun.
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