9 user 8 critic

The Overlanders (1946)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 26 December 1946 (USA)
It's the start of WWII in Northern Australia. The Japanese are getting close. People are evacuating and burning everything in a "scorched earth" policy. Rather than kill all their cattle, a... See full summary »


Harry Watt


Harry Watt
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Three young Australians join the army at the beginning of World War I and are assigned to the Australian Light Horse cavalry, which is serving in Palestine. The three eventually take part ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chauvel
Stars: Grant Taylor, Betty Bryant, Chips Rafferty
Silent Dust (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A wealthy blind man is determined to build a cricket pavilion as a memorial to his dead son, who was killed in battle in World War II. Not long before the dedication ceremony is to be held,... See full summary »

Director: Lance Comfort
Stars: Stephen Murray, Beatrice Campbell, George Woodbridge
Massacre Hill (1949)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1854, Australian gold rush miners struggle for their rights against an oppressive government.

Director: Harry Watt
Stars: Chips Rafferty, Jane Barrett, Jack Lambert
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A London cab driver gets mixed up with a criminal gang and sets out to expose the group and its leader for what they are.

Director: John Paddy Carstairs
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Barry K. Barnes, Sheila Sim
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two beachcombers with a yacht join woman-with-a-past Rita on a quest for black pearls on a secret island. Arrived, they find another white man has made himself high priest; but George, the ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Virginia Mayo, Dennis Morgan, David Farrar
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Tommy Trinder is called in to smooth things out when Wally King encroaches upon Aboriginal Tribal ground.

Director: Ralph Smart
Stars: Tommy Trinder, Chips Rafferty, Gordon Jackson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British aircraft engineer accidentally kills his daughter's nasty foreign boyfriend and then tries to cover up his deed.

Director: Anthony Kimmins
Stars: John Mills, Phyllis Calvert, Eileen Moore
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of local man Dad Rudd (played by Bert Bailey) who see the need to increase the capacity of the dam, but faces opposition.

Director: Ken G. Hall
Stars: Bert Bailey, Connie Martyn, Yvonne East
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Tells the story of three men--Bluey, a tough two fisted drover (Taylor), Milo, a laconic dingo trapper (Rafferty), and Pete, an intellectual English "new chum" (Finch). Together they serve ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chauvel
Stars: Grant Taylor, Peter Finch, Chips Rafferty
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In rural Norfolk, villagers are spurred to action when it is announced that the nearby RAF station is taking over the Island of Children, a much-loved and untouched bird sanctuary, for ... See full summary »

Director: John Eldridge
Stars: John Gregson, Kieron Moore, Harry Fowler
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dodger Lane (Peter Sellers) has planned the perfect robbery while in prison. He intends to break out of prison, steal a fortune in diamonds, and break back into prison before anyone notices... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Peter Sellers, David Lodge, Bernard Cribbins
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Known as Mick to some and Mack to others, because he is half Scottish and half Irish, a veteran electro plater has retirement forced upon him, but his bullheaded refusal to take it causes ructions.

Director: Wolf Rilla
Stars: Edward Chapman, George Merritt, Eugene Leahy


Complete credited cast:
Chips Rafferty ... Dan McAlpine
John Nugent Hayward John Nugent Hayward ... Bill Parsons
Daphne Campbell Daphne Campbell ... Mary Parsons
Jean Blue Jean Blue ... Mrs. Parsons
Helen Grieve Helen Grieve ... Helen Parsons
John Fernside John Fernside ... Corky
Peter Pagan Peter Pagan ... Sailor ("Sinbad")
Frank Ransome Frank Ransome ... Charlie
Stan Tolhurst Stan Tolhurst ... Manager
Marshall Crosby Marshall Crosby ... Minister
John Fegan John Fegan ... Police Sergeant
Clyde Combo Clyde Combo ... Aborigine Jacky
Henry Murdoch Henry Murdoch ... Aborigine Nipper


It's the start of WWII in Northern Australia. The Japanese are getting close. People are evacuating and burning everything in a "scorched earth" policy. Rather than kill all their cattle, a disparate group decides to drive them overland half way across the continent. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A dramatic epic that echoes the heart beats of Australia's Greatness!


Adventure | Western


Approved | See all certifications »



UK | Australia



Release Date:

26 December 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Manada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chips Rafferty starred alongside Jack Lemmon playing the island watcher Patterson in The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) (1960). See more »


Dan McAlpine: Bullocks are more important than bullets.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is based on fact but the characters are fictitious: any similarity to any name or individual is coincidental. See more »


Featured in Century of Cinema: 40,000 years of dreaming (1997) See more »


Authorship unknown
Sung by cast members at different times
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of Australia's Best from Days Gone By.
8 October 2014 | by russellalancampbellSee all my reviews

"The Overlanders" is a depiction of Australia and Australians that could perhaps be regarded today as more mythical than real but the film is a worthy one as a semi-documentary look at droving as it was prior to the advent of rail and road trains.

Chips Rafferty, the Crocodile Dundee of his day, plays the part of what was seen as the typical Australian. He was frank, laconic, tough, dedicated to the task, resourceful and, above all, a friendly sort of bloke. His understated, matter-of-fact narration is a highlight."When a bore goes dry on you like that, you're in a mess." Helen, the young teen daughter, played by Helen Grieve is another highlight. There is an authenticity to her even though by today's standards her delivery sounds a bit awkward. Her physique and movement give the impression that she could really rough it in the outback. She portrayed a bush girl who could ride a horse or run with a natural ease or take a fall without fear. Grieve was used to good effect in "Bush Christmas" a year later.

Best of all, "The Overlanders" did not demonise nor patronise the Aborigines (blacks). Yes, they are depicted as workers/drovers who are there only to help and are socially separate from the whites but this is how it was. They are never used as the butt of jokes nor is their culture gratuitously questioned or ridiculed. The "wild blacks" who passively observe the cattle drive from a rock formation are given a sense of dignity without being patronised as being "noble savages".

There are far worse ways to spend an afternoon than by watching this film. You learn of some things about droving and there are a few cultural and historical bits and pieces along the way. And the stark, ragged beauty and terror of Australia's north is always worth a look.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed