Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Sundowners


Shot in Australia, and one of the chief reasons to see this is the locations, the photography, and the insight into the lives of the sheep drovers there. The story is unsurprising but well-told. There is a good, scary forest fire, and a pretty funny sheep-shearing contest. Robert Mitchum is relatively un-macho. His Aussie accent is terrible. Deborah Kerr’s is much better, though I doubt either of them sound very good to a real Australian. But I would imagine that those Down Under appreciated this big-budget Hollywood epic, because back then the rest of the world didn’t know much about life there, except that there are kangaroos, which manage to hop through almost every outdoor scene. (I can imagine the ADs and animal wranglers off-screen, releasing the beasts and then catching them after every take.) We also see emus, wombats, and koalas, of course. Peter Ustinov is a favorite of mine, and he does well here. The couple’s son is played by Michael Anderson, Jr., who is the real-life son of Michael Anderson, the really great guy who directed my movie, Millennium.