The Sundowners

1960 | Drama | 141 minutes | English

Info

Paddy Carmody, his wife Ida, and teenage son Sean, are sundowners. They travel from farm to farm across the Australian outback driving and shearing sheep. Ida and Sean are yearning to own their own farm and settle down. Paddy prefers to live the nomadic life. Paddy accepts a job driving hundreds of sheep to a station miles away. Paddy hires Rupert Venneker to assist. Throughout the journey the family faces incredible experiences: a terrifying brushfire; the birth of a child; Paddy’s impulsive purchase of a racehorse he names Sundowner. With Sean  as the jockey and winning races and with the money earned for successfully herding the sheep to the station, the family is at a crossroad. Will Paddy agree to buy a farm and settle down or will the family’s future be a continued desire for wanderlust?

Cast
Robert Mitchum (Paddy Carmody) / Deborah Kerr (Ida Carmody) / Michael Anderson Jr. (Sean Carmody) / Peter Ustinov (Rupert Venneker)
Why Stream This Film?
The Sundowners is about a dilemma many families face: the husband wants to live one way and the wife another. But this family manages to survive because they love each other. Now, throw in the awesome landscape of the Australian outback and watching the fascinating process of shearing sheep, and you have a heck of a film.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 75%
  • Metacritic Score: 82
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann)
  • National Board of Review: Winner, Best Actor (Robert Mitchum); Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Actress (Deborah Kerr); Nominated, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann)
As fine as the scenario is, it is Zinnemann’s poetic glances into the souls of his characters, little hints of deep longings, hidden despairs, indomitable spirit that make this film the achievement it is.
VARIETY staff

A sense of outdoor living and a tingle of open-air adventure are the breath of life in this film.
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

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