Walkabout (1971)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  1 July 1971 (USA)
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Reviews: 135 user | 70 critic

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.



(screenplay), (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
White Boy (as Lucien John)
Black Boy (as David Gumpilil)
Robert McDarra ...
Man (as Robert McDara)
Peter Carver ...
No Hoper (as Pete Carver)
John Illingsworth ...
Hilary Bamberger ...
Barry Donnelly ...
Australian Scientist
Noeline Brown ...
German Scientist (as Noelene Brown)
Carlo Manchini ...
Italian Scientist


A privileged British family consisting of a mother, a geologist father and an adolescent daughter and son, live in Sydney, Australia. Out of circumstance, the siblings, not knowing exactly where they are, get stranded in the Outback by themselves while on a picnic. They only have with them the clothes on their backs - their school uniforms - some meagre rations of nonperishable food, a battery-powered transistor radio, the son's satchel primarily containing his toys, and a small piece of cloth they used as their picnic drop-cloth. While they walk through the Outback, sometimes looking as though near death, they come across an Australian boy who is on his walkabout, a rite of passage into manhood where he spends months on end on his own living off the land. Their largest problem is not being able to verbally communicate. The boy does help them to survive, but doesn't understand their need to return to civilization, which may or may not happen based on what the Australian boy ends up ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Aborgine and the girl 30,000 years apart ...together See more »


Adventure | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

1 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Longa Caminhada  »

Box Office


AUD 1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1997 reissue) | (original)

Sound Mix:


(Eastman Colour)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Edward Bond's screenplay ran to a mere 14 pages. The film was largely improvised. See more »


Jenny's stockings variously disappear and reappear with no continuity. It seems earlier scenes with her wearing them are intermingled with later scenes where she doesn't wear them. See more »


The Girl: I expect we're the first white people he's seen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening caption: In Australia, when an Aborigine man-child reaches sixteen, he is sent out into the land. For months he must live from it. Sleep on it. Eat of its fruit and flesh. Stay alive. Even if it means killing his fellow creatures. The Aborigines call it the WALKABOUT. This is the story of a "WALKABOUT". See more »


Referenced in 50 Films to See Before You Die (2006) See more »


Includes electronic music from "Hymnen"
by Karlheinz Stockhausen
See more »

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User Reviews

Who Says Silent Cinema Is Dead?
8 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

Although this is a sound film, and the characters talk to one another, this film could have been made just as well in the 1920s. It does not really need sound.

The film is about nature, and man's relationship with it. If a civilised person were left out in the desert, then they would soon die. But, as this film shows, there are people and creatures living out there quite happily.

The film has been criticised for having a weak beginning and a weak end. But where does the story of this film start? And where and when would you end it? Yes you can end it when the two children get back to civilisation. But does the story end there? No. Because of their experiences, things are never going to be the same again. And for them, the story has not finished, it is only just beginning.

I have seen this film several times and I notice something different every time I see it.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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