7.3/10
2,893
36 user 20 critic

The Sundowners (1960)

Unrated | | Drama, Adventure | 28 February 1961 (Japan)
In Australia's Outback during the early 20th century the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon but the mom and son want to settle while the dad is against it.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A marine and a nun form an unlikely friendship. The marine is shipwrecked on a Pacific island and the nun has been left behind there; they find comfort in one another as the two wait out the war.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jack Cardiff received a 1960 Oscar Nomination as Best Director for this lush, engaging film starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Donald Pleasence, which was adapted from D.H. ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After leaving a wealthy Belgian family to become a nun, Sister Luke struggles with her devotion to her vows during crisis, disappointment, and World War II.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Victor and Hillary are down on their luck to the point that they allow tourists to take guided tours of their castle. But Charles Delacro, a millionaire oil tycoon, visits, and takes a ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum
Thunder Road (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Gene Barry, Jacques Aubuchon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Fanny (1961)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A love triangle between a young woman, a rich 60-something man and an aspiring sailor set in early 20th century Marseilles.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Boyer
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Having fled to Mexico from the U.S. many years ago for killing his father's murderer, Martin Brady travels to Texas to broker an arms deal for his Mexican boss, strongman Governor Cipriano ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Julie London, Gary Merrill
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Firth
...
Jean Halstead
Chips Rafferty ...
Quinlan
...
Lola Brooks ...
Liz Brown
...
Herb Johnson
...
Bluey Brown
...
Ocker
Gerry Duggan ...
Shearer
Leonard Teale ...
Shearer
Peter Carver ...
Shearer
...
Shearer
Edit

Storyline

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 <jeannee@uwyo.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Across Six Thousand Miles of Excitement...Across a Whole World of Adventure Comes the Rousing, Story of Real People Called "The Sundowners"! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Adventure

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tres vidas errantes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gerry Duggan, who plays Turk, was also thought suitable for a minor role of a drunk. See more »

Goofs

After Ida and Sean cross the bridge to escape the fire, they look into the flames for Paddy. Through the smoke, you can see a man tending the fire. See more »

Quotes

Sean Carmody: [on hearing Venneker had been a ship's captain] Why'd you leave?
Rupert Venneker: My stomach. I was a notoriously bad sailor.
Sean Carmody: Dad says you must have been a better sailor than you are a horseman.
Rupert Venneker: 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!
Sean Carmody: What does cashiered mean?
Rupert Venneker: Uh - kind of promotion from the army into civilian life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 23 April 1961 (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Botany Bay
(uncredited)
Traditional
Quoted in the background score and sung by Peter Ustinov, Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr' and Glynis Johns
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Shame on the Academy
2 January 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

For such a gifted actor as Robert Mitchum to go unrecognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a shame and makes one glad that George C. Scott did what he did in refusing to receive the Oscar for his amazing work in "Patton." I don't want to mention Marlon Brando because I'm still not certain what he was up to. He seemed to want attention more than to make a statement when he flaunted the Academy. Added to this shame is the same Academy virtually ignoring Mitchum's co-star in this movie Deborah Kerr, also deserving of more formal recognition for her contributions to the Hollywood dream machine. Anyone who has any doubt about the outstanding acting abilities of these two stars needs only watch "The Sundowners" to see where I'm coming from. The rest of the cast in "The Sundowners" add to the overall effectiveness of the movie, especially the brilliance of Peter Ustinov.

There is really not much of a story. The film is more of a character study of a vagabond with a wife and a son who is trying to make a living as a sheep drover in the outback of Australia. He encounters a rather mysterious man Rupert Venneker (Ustinov) who becomes his hired hand to help with the sheep. Paddy Carmody (Mitchum) is very happy with this hand to mouth existence, living in a tent or sleeping out amongst the stars, keeping a little change in a jar, but his wife and son prefer a more settled existence, dreaming of owning their own ranch. Director Fred Zinnemann captures the essence of vagabond life down under filming on location in Australia, showing the exotic wild life in all its beauty and spender. Technicolor and wide-screen heighten the viewers enjoyment of this tale of dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled in a land that is still somewhat mysterious to the average American.

Of special note is the Australian music used by Zinnemann. In the first pub scene Mitchum bellows out in a drunken Aussie accent one of John Ford's favorites, "Wild Colonial Boy," but then sings a ballad that is seldom heard on the big screen, "Botany Bay," about the infamous penal colony from which modern Australia sprang. The versatile Robert Mitchum was also a singer and songwriter. He helped write the music of his production of "Thunder Road" and even had somewhat of a hit recording of the title song in 1958. Rupert Venneker (Ustinov) makes fun of Paddy's voice in "The Sundowners," but actually it wasn't bad.

This is a rather long film, over two hours, but a highly enjoyable one. I first saw it on the big screen when I was a senior in high school. It was one of those flicks that stays with a person. I've had the pleasure of seeing it a few more times since. It is still as fresh and as good as when first released.


36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Sundowners. DVD Release Wanted christieg2
the name they call each other kathymac1443
Oz Content? Ranger-style_Sloane80
Sundowners bozidar25
Sheep Shearing Competition krdement
"A film like The Sundowners couldn't get made today." Rheli
Discuss The Sundowners (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?