Based on a true story, Ned Kelly is unable to support his family in the Australian outback, he turns to stealing horses in order to make money. He gets more deeply drawn into the outlaw life, and eventually becomes involved in murders. Based on the life of famed 19th-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.Written by
I can't believe the comments regarding the use of an Irish accent as opposed to an "Australian" one. It might help if you actually KNEW anything of our convict past. (Have a look at Australian shows produced during the mid 20th century and you'll see that our accent is decidedly British, not the broad Australian accent of today - we are all a product of our past).
As for Ned, his father, John "Red" Kelly, was born in the county of Tipperary, Ireland. He was convicted of stealing 2 pigs & was transported to Australia sentenced to 7 years. It is pertinent to remember that in the 1840's we are dealing with the most wretched period in modern Irish history. The majority of the Irish population of over eight million people (1841) were chronically poor tenant farmers and cottiers. The Kelly's were just another poor, near landless family whose plight was of little concern to the alien administration (British) in control at that time. The Great Famine of 1845 - 1847 left over one million dead and another million gone on the 'coffin ships'. Such was the background to the offences committed by the likes of John Kelly. So he was transported to Australia for stealing for his family to survive. America, following the War of Independence, refused to accept any more convicts from Britain so the British turned to newly discovered Australia.
John Kelly was kept in Jail until 31st July 1841 when he was placed on board the convict ship 'The Prince Regent' in the port of Dublin. On the 7th August (note that he was interned on this prison hulk for 1 month in appalling conditions) 'The Prince Regent' sailed from Dublin with 182 convicts on Board. There was one port of call, Cape Town, and the ship arrived in the Derwent River, Van Diemens Land, now Tasmania, on 2nd January 1842. By this time John Kelly had already served one year of his sentence and the next six years were spent at convict and labouring jobs in Tasmania. He was granted his ticket of leave on 11th July 1845 and on 11th January 1848 he was granted his Certificate of Freedom. He was a free man again but in a different country on the other side of the world. My great great grandfather suffered the same fate - transported from England in 1837 aboard the "Charles Kerr" for stealing a pittance just to survive, he served 7 years before receiving his Certificate of Freedom in Nov 1843 (he was sentenced at the Old Bailey in Oct 1836). Just as John Kelly did, my ancestor married an Irish free settler (yes, there were some, even though my great great grandmother was shipwrecked twice on her way here!!!!).
I know this has little to do with an appraisal of the film (which I saw when it first came out &, yes, like another poster commented it did not have ANY American country music on the soundtrack - from memory it was backed by very early Australian / Irish folk songs of the time). However, I do remember that I thought at the time that Jagger (the iconic rebel) was a great choice for Ned & that it was a somewhat loose & art-based portrayal and was, with this in mind, spot on. I haven't seen the film for years but all I do know is that if I see a film on an American historical character (or even Lithuanian, for that matter) I would do some research on the history to try and understand the true circumstances that surrounded him or her. I recommend you study the history of Ned's time and the history of the time the film was made (1970) - you may then see it in a different light.
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