7.2/10
3,430
39 user 27 critic

The Sundowners (1960)

Unrated | | Drama, Adventure | 28 February 1961 (Japan)
In Australia's Outback during the early twentieth century, the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon, but the mom and son want to settle, while the dad is against it.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Isobel Lennart (screenplay), Jon Cleary (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,217 ( 12,169)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, an American marine and an Irish nun form an unlikely friendship after being stranded on a South Pacific island. They find comfort in one another as the two hope for a rescue.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the early twentieth century, an artistically talented young man living in an English coal mining town is inhibited by his domineering and emotionally manipulative mother.

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After leaving a wealthy Belgian family to become a nun, Sister Luke struggles with her devotion to her vows during crisis, disappointment, and World War II.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Victor and Hillary are down on their luck to the point that they allow tourists to take guided tours of their castle. But Charles Delacro, a millionaire oil tycoon, visits, and takes a ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Jason Robards, Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Billy Budd (1962)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Billy Budd (Terence Stamp) is an innocent, naive seaman in the British Navy in 1797. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried.

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Robert Ryan, Peter Ustinov, Melvyn Douglas
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Brother is pitted against brother in this tale of fueding ranchers in the old west.

Director: George Templeton
Stars: Robert Preston, Robert Sterling, Chill Wills
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Deborah Kerr ... Ida Carmody
Robert Mitchum ... Paddy Carmody
Peter Ustinov ... Rupert Venneker
Glynis Johns ... Mrs. Firth
Dina Merrill ... Jean Halstead
Chips Rafferty ... Quinlan
Michael Anderson Jr. ... Sean Carmody
Lola Brooks Lola Brooks ... Liz Brown
Wylie Watson ... Herb Johnson
John Meillon ... Bluey Brown
Ronald Fraser ... Ocker
Gerry Duggan Gerry Duggan ... Shearer
Leonard Teale Leonard Teale ... Shearer
Peter Carver Peter Carver ... Shearer
Dick Bentley ... Shearer
Edit

Storyline

In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family, Paddy (Robert Mitchum), Ida (Deborah Kerr), and their teenage son Sean (Michael Anderson, Jr.), are sheep drovers, always on the move. Ida and Sean want to settle down and buy a farm. Paddy wants to keep moving. A sheep-shearing contest, the birth of a child, drinking, gambling, and a race horse will all have a part in the final decision. Written by Jeanne Armintrout <jeannee@uwyo.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Across Six Thousand Miles of Excitement...Across a Whole World of Adventure Comes the Rousing, Story of Real People Called "The Sundowners"! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Adventure

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1961 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tres vidas errantes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The same shearing shed at Carriewerloo Station was used in the South Australian Film Corporation movie Sunday Too Far Away (1975). See more »

Goofs

During the shearing contest, at the first break, Robert Mitchum collapses onto his seat and his opponent is shown in the background getting his pipe out of his pocket, lighting up and smoking. Then the camera cuts to a closeup of the opponent and he is shown getting his pipe out and lighting up again. See more »

Quotes

Sean Carmody: Gee, it's gonna be fun. This is the first time I've ever been away from home.
Shearer: What, with your mom and dad not fifty yards outside that window, and you call that being away from home?
Rupert Venneker: Certainly. Being out in the world is a state of mind, not of geography. The distance between that tent and this bunker is the longest journey you will ever make in your life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Sunday' (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Botany Bay
(uncredited)
Traditional
Quoted in the background score and sung by Peter Ustinov, Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr' and Glynis Johns
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A gentle study of a cheerful, loving Australian family whose whole life is one of adventure…
21 May 2007 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Frequently slow, solemn and simplistic, the films of Fred Zinneman are the work of a director who appears to have equated artistry with neatness, objectivity with aloofness, and significance with decorative, humorless reverence…

"The Sundowners" was perhaps the best 'Australian' film made up to that time, and was, incidentally, a perceptive study of a marriage: Deborah Kerr was the wife who wanted to settle down, and Robert Mitchum the husband who didn't… It reveals much about their life-style and the land in which they live… Their good teenaged son Sean (Michael Anderson Jr.) explains the meaning of a sundowner as someone whose home is wherever he happens to be when the sun goes down…

So Paddy (Mitchum) and Ida (Kerr) are a warm and well-adjusted couple with one grown son, except for one argument—the struggle between his love of being a wanderer and her fundamental desire for the stability of a home… Paddy was a man who couldn't settle in one place… For him, most places were fit only for arrivals and departures…

The film—which constantly endeavored to show the Australian woman's compassion for the problems of women in a big male society—is also a happy celebration with other notable participants being Glynis Johns as an awfully pleasant barmaid-innkeeper who loves men's company and knows how to deal with them; Peter Ustinov as an educated but slightly mysterious Englishman, a likable drifter, a kind of an elderly turtle who wears a nautical cap, with wealth of experience, but not much of a mind to make use of it…This turtle signs on as a drover with Paddy, apparently not so much for a job but for something to pass the time…

Outstanding is a scene in which Ida, as a woman with no makeup, sitting on the wagon, spots in the window of a stationary train a well-dressed woman who obviously has all the things she doesn't... They look at each other for an instance as the rich woman applies powder to her face… Ida gently lifts her fingers over her cheeks… They stare at each other and we rapidly notice Ida's thoughts…

"The Sundowners" is one of the very best of Mitchum's films… In the pub sequence, he is at his best when he sings "Botany Bay" and "Lime Juice Tub."

Deborah Kerr gave the role both a touch of delicacy and a touch of sensuality… She wins, for her impressive performance, her sixth and last Oscar nomination…

The motion picture, splendidly photographed in Technicolor and with a nice atmospheric music, contains fires in the dry forests, shearing contests, fist-fights, the Aussie's love of beer, a game of two-up, a big race meeting, much of the beautiful Australian landscape and the life on sheep farming stations…


51 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 39 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed