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Mad Dog Morgan (1976)

The true story of Irish outlaw Daniel Morgan, who is wanted, dead or alive, in Australia during the 1850s.

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(screenplay), (book)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Detective Manwaring
...
Billy
...
Superintendent Cobham
...
Superintendent Winch
Wallas Eaton ...
Macpherson
...
Sergeant Smith
John Hargreaves ...
Baylis
Martin Harris ...
Wendlan
Robin Ramsay ...
Roget
Graeme Blundell ...
Italian Jack
Gregory Apps ...
Arthur
Liza Lee-Atkinson ...
Barmaid
Elaine Baillie ...
Farm Girl
Don Barkham ...
Morrow
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Storyline

Australia in the 1850s. Daniel Morgan, like hundreds of other ex-patriots from the British Isles (he is from Ireland), has come Downunder to seek his fortune. There is a gold rush going on, and Morgan wants to strike it rich. As fate would have it, Morgan soon finds himself on the other side of the law, broke and desperate. A single act of highway robbery gets him 12 years of hard labor. While in prison, he is systematically abused. Upon release, Morgan vows revenge on those who wronged him. With the help of an aborigine named Billy, and a growing legend of audacity, Morgan soon becomes a hero. The locals love him, while the wealthy and powerful fear his influence. They want this outlaw dead or alive, and will stop at nothing to see that their sense of justice is done. But Morgan only wants those to pay for the crimes they have committed, to recognize that he wasn't always a bushranger - he was made into one. It wasn't only his mind that made him bad. It was society that turned him ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1850s | outlaw | australia | dog | prison | See All (87) »

Taglines:

Ferociously violent - unexpectedly kind. Ruthless bandit or rebel hero? An outlaw's outlaw with a score to settle. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 July 1976 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Mad Dog Morgan  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Hopper and Jack Thompson both sport beards in this movie whilst Michael Pate is seen with a rather large bushy mustache. See more »

Goofs

In a farmhouse, a picture of a Tasmanian tiger or Thylacine is pointed out as being that of an extinct animal. The Thylacine did not become extinct until the 1930s. See more »

Quotes

Supt. Cobham: By all means, off with his head... and don't forget the scrotum.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Daria: The Teachings of Don Jake (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
(uncredited)
Music by Michael William Balfe
[from 'The Bohemian Girl']
See more »

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User Reviews

A "one-off" Western down under!
23 February 2004 | by (Longmont, Colorado) – See all my reviews

If you check the credentials of Philippe Mora you will find he leans towards the outre school of film-making. In terms of cinematic crap he has managed to helm three of the all time greatest duds: THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE, SWAMP THING and the never to be forgotten, HOWLING 2 (The jury is still out on HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS...its either WORSE than 2 or a camp classic)

Whatever, MAD DOG MORGAN (MAD DOG in the US) offers too much to either ignore per se or to slate unmercifully. As a towering portrait of a reasonably obscure bushranger, it is just to disjointed and lacking in sane continuity to be considered a winner. Dennis Hopper's work and intense interpretation of Morgan however is just plain awesome - I consider it amongst his career highlights - up there with BLUE VELVET (are these two characters cosmically related somehow?)

The cinematography is sumptuous although on some dvd's I've noticed a strange discoloration towards the center of the screen throughout the print...oddly though it adds rather than detracts. The music is at times jarring and fully inappropriate, then before you can say "Is this one odd flick or not?" you're watching Hopper perched alone in a bar room, musing on his past and telling his would-be seductress - "I only ever knew one woman - my mother...I'm sorry." That scene alone makes the film worth watching. One of those scenes stays with you if you have any compassion whatsoever.

Frank Thring still thinks he's playing Herod from KING OF KINGS as the head of Victorian Police. His psychotic demands at the end of the film sicken even his subordinates. Clearly he is closer to an institution even than Morgan!

Excellent supporting work from Gulpilil as always. He also plays the film's didgeridoo on the soundtrack.

MAD DOG MORHAN is no thinking-person's classic, its not even an especially good film. What it DOES achieve though, is a fairly accurate representation of Australian Bush life from a bygone period. Within its budgetary limitations, insane direction and superior acting, it is a mini-beacon of sorts from the mid seventies. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK it ain't...but neither does it generate the cringe factor of THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY MACKENZIE.

The 4.8 IMDb rating is woefully inadequate and quite absurd. This is a 5.6 (min) to 6.5 (max) if you consider the film rationally by virtue of the sum of its parts.


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