Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writers:

Edward Bond (screenplay), Donald G. Payne (novel) (as James Vance Marshall)
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Popularity
2,684 ( 1,078)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jenny Agutter ... Girl
Luc Roeg ... White Boy (as Lucien John)
David Gulpilil ... Black Boy (as David Gumpilil)
John Meillon ... Father
Robert McDarra Robert McDarra ... Man (as Robert McDara)
Peter Carver Peter Carver ... No Hoper (as Pete Carver)
John Illingsworth John Illingsworth ... Girl's Husband
Hilary Bamberger Hilary Bamberger ... Father's Wife
Barry Donnelly Barry Donnelly ... Australian Scientist
Noeline Brown Noeline Brown ... German Scientist (as Noelene Brown)
Carlo Manchini Carlo Manchini ... Italian Scientist
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Storyline

A privileged British family consisting of a mother, a geologist father and an adolescent daughter and son, live in Sydney, Australia. Out of circumstance, the siblings, not knowing exactly where they are, get stranded in the Outback by themselves while on a picnic. They only have with them the clothes on their backs - their school uniforms - some meagre rations of nonperishable food, a battery-powered transistor radio, the son's satchel primarily containing his toys, and a small piece of cloth they used as their picnic drop-cloth. While they walk through the Outback, sometimes looking as though near death, they come across an Australian boy who is on his walkabout, a rite of passage into manhood where he spends months on end on his own living off the land. Their largest problem is not being able to verbally communicate. The boy does help them to survive, but doesn't understand their need to return to civilization, which may or may not happen based on what the Australian boy ends up ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A boy and girl face the challenge of the world's last frontier. Dangers they had never known before... A people they had never seen before... See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released the same year as "A Clockwork Orange", which had the same executive producers. See more »

Goofs

The girl asks to be taken to the city of Adelaide, the children's destination in the novel. However, the city shown at the start and end of the film is clearly Sydney, which is several thousand kilometers (and two states) away from Adelaide. See more »

Quotes

White Boy: I think he's going to take us to Mars.
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Crazy Credits

Opening caption: In Australia, when an Aborigine man-child reaches sixteen, he is sent out into the land. For months he must live from it. Sleep on it. Eat of its fruit and flesh. Stay alive. Even if it means killing his fellow creatures. The Aborigines call it the WALKABOUT. This is the story of a "WALKABOUT". See more »

Alternate Versions

A version screened by the BBC in the early 80s featured some Easy-Rider style scene transitions (rapid cuts back and forth) not found in the other cuts. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Todd Haynes (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Skye Boat Song
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish air
Lyrics by Sir Harold Boulton
Hummed by Jenny Agutter
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User Reviews

Beautiful lead character and a film with a subtle message
17 April 2004 | by abethell-2See all my reviews

I first remember seeing this film as a late teenager in about 1979. Therefore what most vividly stuck in my mind was the lead character played by a beautiful blonde English girl, Jenny Agutter, Specifically the nude scenes of her swimming and washing.

On a less superficial level it is a film with a point-something along the lines of the graciousness of Aborigines and their ability to live in harsh surrounds, and the destructive nature of suburban life in a flat in a major city.

I think it would be a film, like Jedda, that will always be on reference for the Australian Outback, Aboriginals and the modern society which brought a European civilisation to their land.


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Details

Country:

UK | Australia

Language:

English | Aboriginal | Czech | French

Release Date:

1 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Walkabout See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1997 reissue) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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