7.2/10
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The Sundowners (1960)

In Australia's Outback during the early 20th 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)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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Storyline

In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family--Paddy, Ida and their teenage son Sean--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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

UK | USA | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1961 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tres vidas errantes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. Productions See more »
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Glynis Johns's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

After Ida and Sean cross the bridge to escape the fire, they look into the flames for Paddy. Through the smoke, you can see a man tending the fire. 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.
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Soundtracks

The Lime-Juice Tub
(uncredited)
Traditional
Quoted in the background score and played by the band at the first race meeting and also sung at Mrs Firth's hotel
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Mitchum's mimicry
18 February 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Robert Mitchum had one undeniable talent as an actor, his phenomenal ability to pick up and use any kind of accent or dialect. I can't think of another actor who could have so convincingly played a New England hood in The Friends of Eddie Coyle, native Irish in Ryan's Daughter and A Terrible Beauty, and pure Australian in The Sundowners. Although the rest of the cast is great, it's his performance that pivots the whole film.

The movie itself is amazing in that the characters created are so engaging that even though the film really has no plot, just a series of connected wanderings, you enjoy it nevertheless. The film ending is also offbeat. Normally you would think that Deborah Kerr would win out in her desire to settle down on a farm. But unusual for Hollywood she gives in to Mitchum's wanderlust.

In their travels herding sheep through rural Australia of the 1920s these people, hardworking and living close to the poverty line look like their lives are fun. Like Mitchum's Paddy Carmody says he has no worries and no ulcers because he doesn't own any property or has any money in the bank. A whole lot like the real Mitchum in his Kerouac like youth. It's what makes this film just good fun.


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