6.1/10
174
4 user 1 critic

Burke & Wills (1985)

A story based on true events about two explorers on a doomed journey trying to cross Australia on foot in the 19 century.

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4 nominations. See more awards »
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Parody of historical epics that focuses on real-life Australian explorers William John Wills and Robert O'Hara Burkes, who tragically tried to cross the Australian continent from the south, to the north, a distance of 3,250 km.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Julia Matthews
Matthew Fargher ...
John King
Ralph Cotterill ...
Charley Gray
Drew Forsythe ...
Brahe
...
Tom McDonagh
Monroe Reimers ...
Dost Mahomet
Ron Blanchard ...
Bill Patton
Barry Hill ...
George Landells
Roderick Williams ...
Bill Wright
...
Ambrose Kyte
Arthur Dignam ...
Sir William Stawell
Ken Goodlet ...
Doctor John Masadam
Edward Hepple ...
Ludwig Becker
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Storyline

A story based on true events about two explorers on a doomed journey trying to cross Australia on foot in the 19 century.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They dared to challenge the unknown... See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1985 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Burke & Wills - kova kaksikko  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 8,900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Graeme Clifford had the idea for the film prior to it being made for at least eight years. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the conclusion of the cast list in the end credits it reads: Mr. Stillwell as himself. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Wills & Burke (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Cheer Boys Cheer
Traditional
Performed by the Burwood Brass Band (NSW)
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating Australian History Lesson
28 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What an odd, yet incredibly moving film - a "forgotten epic." As an American not knowing one thing about Australian history - especially Burke and Wills (Australia's counterparts to the explorers Lewis and Clark in American history), I was expecting an adulatory foreign period piece. Instead, this is an insightful, dark, and often terrifying adventure story about the triumphs and travails of the first two European white men to completely cross the Australian continent in the 1860s. Performances here are first-rate - especially that of Jack Thompson - as are the cinematography and unusual cross-time editing. Also interesting to me are some of the parallels between the tenuous relationships of whites and natives in both Australia and the U.S. at the time. Though this movie may never find an audience in the U.S. (it is very rare and has never been released on DVD), it deserves to be re-discovered.


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