Based on the Australian classic by Marcus Clarke, the story of convict Rufus Dawe was based on fact and reflects that of many convicts of Australia's early days. Rufus Dawe has been wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit, and sent to the harsh penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, Australia - for the term of his natural life. In his attempts to escape the colony forever, he falls in love with a warden's daughter, Sylvia, confronts his sinister lookalike John Rex, and the evil convict Gabbet. American director Norman Dawn's movie adaptation strays from the original book but retains a strong visual style, especially in climactic crowd scenes. It is notorious as the movie that was meant to launch Australia into the world movie market, but instead cost investors thousands after the coming of sound stymied its potential for overseas success.
Camille Scaysbrook <email@example.com>
PLEASE GOD- TELL CRANKY BROWN WE'RE COMING Just one of the poignant, soul-stirring moments- when two little victims of a harsh penal system go over the cliff to eternity rather than submit to fresh horrors. (Print Ad- Brisbane Courier, ((Brisbane,Queensland)) 18 July 1927)
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Did You Know?
Rex's escape on the Osprey is based on the seizure of the brig, Frederick, by ten convicts after the closure of the Macquarie Harbour penal settlement. The convicts landed their captives on the shore and then set sail. Unlike Rex who is recaptured in the film, these convicts managed to sail the Frederick to Chile. See more
On two intertitles, Van Diemen's Land is misspelled as 'Van Dieman's Land'. See more
Version of The Convict Hero