7.1/10
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The Sundowners (1960)

Unrated | | Adventure, Drama | 9 December 1960 (USA)
Trailer
3:31 | Trailer
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)
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 (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:

The Sundowners are here! A roaring chip on their shoulder---A rousing challenge on their lips! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper was originally cast in the lead role of Paddy Carmondy, but had to back out due to poor health. Errol Flynn replaced him, but died before production began. Robert Mitchum stepped into the role for the chance to act with his good friend Deborah Kerr, with whom he had previously co-starred in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957). Mitchum agreed to give Kerr top billing, joking to the production team, "You can design a twenty-four-foot sign of me bowing to her if you like." See more »

Goofs

During the horse race at the conclusion of the film, the camera is positioned ahead of the race shooting back at the field of horses which are running towards the camera. In the lower right corner of the frame, the dust kicking up from the vehicle carrying the camera is visible and clearly is separated from the field of horses. Also to the right of the racing horses behind where they had just run, the tire marks from the camera's vehicle can be clearly seen on the track. See more »

Quotes

Rupert Venneker: Nothing is as revolting to the young than to see their elders at play.
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Connections

Featured in Censura: Alguns Cortes (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Moreton Bay
(uncredited)
Traditional
Quoted in the background score and sung by Paddy Carmody (Robert Mitchum) in the hotel
See more »

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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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sundowners See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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