In the tradition of Sunday Too Far Away (1975), this independent film is based on the classic Australian play by John Power. Pic tells the story of a group of miners living in a camp in outback Australia. They swear, brawl, gamble, and drink heavily. Central to the story is the conflict between Tarzan, the authoritarian group leader and cocky loud-mouth wisecracking Pansy. This results in a bare-knuckle punch-up for the movie's denouement. Exteriors filmed in Andamooka, South Australia. Written by
John Power, author of 'The Last of the Knucklemen' play, was asked in an interview whether he had ever visited such a mining drill site as depicted in the play. Power said: "No. My uncle, Harry McGuigan, he'd been in the north-west of Western Australia as an administrator. In the early '50s I spent a week with him in Perth and he was telling me about his experiences in the mining camps ... about the wildness and just the life in those small towns of having to cope with the caravans of the visiting whores and just the ruggedness of the people and the life and isolation of it all. I just thought and tucked it away as I found it quite interesting. Twenty years later what triggered 'The Last of the Knucklemen' was Ronald Biggs...he was thought to be still in Australia hiding out and someone suggested he may well have joined a mining camp. I thought if I could get what my uncle was talking about and put in quite a few of the roughish kind of characters that I've known at various points in time, rogues but amusing funny men, and put them all together without their realizing they've got Biggs there with them, then this is potentially interesting". See more »
Let's clear these fucking chairs! I've got to murder these mother fuckers!
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This is one of those classic Aussie movies which stands the test of time. Although possessing a somewhat flimsy story line the film's strength lies in its variety of characters, wonderfully portrayed by some of Australia's best acting talent. Gerard Kennedy is, as always, simply great in the role of Tarzan. This bloke is really a class actor and he is well supported here by the broodingly secretive Peter Hehir. Typically strong performances from Steve Bisley, Dennis Miller and Mike Preston are also a feature. And who can forget Denise Drysdale's performance as the whore with a heart of gold? The Aussie trait of supporting the underdog is demonstrated in the film's ending. This is one of my all-time Aussie favourites.
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