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The Sundowners (1960)

The Sundowners VHS

bullet Full Cast and Crew for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

bullet Directed by
Fred Zinnemann

bullet Writing credits
Jon Cleary (novel)
Isobel Lennart (screenplay)

bullet Cast (in credits order)
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 .... Liz Brown
Wylie Watson .... Herb Johnson
John Meillon .... Bluey Brown
Ronald Fraser .... Ocker
Dick Bentley .... Shearer
Mervyn Johns .... Jack Patchogue, mayor of Cawndilla
Molly Urquhart .... Mrs. Bateman
Ewen Solon .... Halstead

bullet Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mercia Barden .... Farm couple (uncredited)
Ray Barrett .... (uncredited)
Peter Carver .... Shearer (uncredited)
Jack Cunningham .... Paddy's Drinking Companion No2 (uncredited)
Gerry Duggan .... Shearer (uncredited)
John Fegan .... (uncredited)
Lloyd Lamble .... Mr. Bateman (uncredited)
Max Osbiston .... Farm couple (uncredited)
Bryan Pringle .... PC Thomas (uncredited)
Colin Tapley .... Palmer (uncredited)
Leonard Teale .... Shearer (uncredited)
Alister Williamson .... Shearer (uncredited)

bullet Produced by
Gerry Blatner .... producer

bullet Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin

bullet Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard

bullet Film Editing by
Jack Harris

bullet Casting by
Robert Lennard
Gloria Payten

bullet Art Direction by
Michael Stringer

bullet Costume Design by
Elizabeth Haffenden

bullet Makeup Department
Gordon Bond .... hair stylist
George Frost .... makeup artist

bullet Production Management
John Palmer .... production manager

bullet Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Bolton .... assistant director
Lex Halliday .... second unit director
Roy Stevens .... assistant director

bullet Art Department
Frants Folmer .... set dresser
Terence Morgan .... set dresser

bullet Sound Department
David Hildyard .... sound mixer
Keith Batten .... sound assistant (uncredited)

bullet Other crew
Joan Bridge .... wardrobe color consultant
Gerry Fisher .... camera operator
Elaine Schreyeck .... continuity
Walter Thompson .... production associate
Dimitri Tiomkin .... conductor
Ron Whelan .... location manager: Australia
Nicolas Roeg .... camera operator (uncredited)

bullet Awards for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

Academy Awards, USA

1961 Nominated Oscar Best Actress in a Leading Role
Deborah Kerr

1961 Nominated Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Glynis Johns

1961 Nominated Oscar Best Director
Fred Zinnemann

1961 Nominated Oscar Best Picture
Fred Zinnemann

1961 Nominated Oscar Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Isobel Lennart

BAFTA Awards

1962 Nominated BAFTA Film Award Best British Actress
Deborah Kerr

1962 Nominated BAFTA Film Award Best British Film

1962 Nominated BAFTA Film Award Best Film from any Source

Directors Guild of America, USA

1961 Nominated DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Fred Zinnemann n

Golden Globes, USA

1961 Won Special Merit Award

Laurel Awards

1961 Nominated Golden Laurel Female Dramatic Performance
Deborah Kerr - 5th place.

National Board of Review, USA

1960 Won NBR Award Best Actor
Robert Mitchum
Also for Home from the Hill (1960).

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1960 Won NYFCC Award Best Actress
Deborah Kerr

Writers Guild of America, USA

1961 Nominated WGA Award (Screen) Best Written American Drama
Isobel Lennart

bullet AMG Info for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

US/UK/Australian (1960)- 133 min. - Feature, Color

Plot Synopsis
Director Fred Zinnemann was riding a crest in the '50s with movies like High Noon, From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, and his success continues in this western-style drama set in Australia in the 1920s. Ida Carmody (Deborah Kerr) is married to Paddy (Robert Mitchum), a sheep drover whose nomadic existence makes him blissfully content. Neither Ida nor their son Sean share his love for roaming, in fact, Ida convinces her husband to take on a job as a sheep-shearer so they can finally have enough to get a mortgage on a farm. At first Paddy agrees but obviously does not know his own mind because in no time at all, he rebels -- though that is not the end of it. Peter Ustinov is also featured as Vanneker, a bachelor who comes to stay with the family, and Glynis Johns plays a hotelkeeper out to change Vanneker's non-marital status.

Hardly the most conflict-driven film of Fred Zinneman's career, or anyone's, The Sundowners is characterized by a gentle tone that effectively complements its striking Australian location photography. Wavering accents aside, both Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr make a great team as a pair of Irish drovers, with Mitchum seeming, amazingly enough, almost cuddly. The central issue -- Mitchum's wanderlust versus Kerr's desire to settle down -- is so muted as to be almost invisible, but the two leads carry it off nicely. Even if it dodges some the stickier issues of class and colonialism, it keeps the interest in its characters high, with Peter Ustinov providing memorable comic relief. By its conclusion, The Sundowners has ably conveyed the difficulties facing those who settle the frontier.

bullet Review for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

An episodic account of a family of roving sheepherders in Australia. Paddy Carmody (Robert Mitchum) loves being "someone whose home is where the sun goes down," but his wife (Deborah Kerr) and teenage son are tired of the nomadic life and want to settle down. Director Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity) takes a wonderfully laid-back approach to this likable material, emphasizing the refreshingly grown-up relationship between Mitchum and Kerr as well as the stark scenic attractions of Australia--a continent that, in 1960, was still unfamiliar terrain for the movies. Puckish, portly Peter Ustinov provides the lion's share of the comic relief. One of the high points is a sheep-shearing sequence (the normally self-assured Mitchum was so nervous about accidentally harming an animal that he required a few bottles of beer for fortification before shooting the scene). The Sundowners scored five Oscar nominations, including acting nods for Kerr and Glynis Johns, but won none.

bullet Pauline Kael Review for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

US (1960): Drama
113 min, No rating, Color

This major film by a major director (Fred Zinnemann) was neglected when it came out—possibly because Warners didn't believe that people would go to see a movie set in Australia—and it has never achieved the reputation it deserves. It's a large, episodic movie, with a strong emotional texture—an epic about the space and emptiness of the country, and about Robert Mitchum as a man who doesn't want to stay in one place, and Deborah Kerr as the wife who keeps moving with him, raising a son (Michael Anderson, Jr.) who has never known a settled existence. There are marvellous sequences: one involving a race horse who's like a pipe dream of a horse; another, a great sheep-shearing contest, with Robert Mitchum pitted against a wizardly little old geezer (Wylie Watson). And though the story builds slowly (and the first half may seem a little pokey), the characters are more red-blooded and vigorous and eccentric than in most other Zinnemann films. Deborah Kerr isn't at all aristocratic or mannered here; this may be her richest performance. Peter Ustinov and Glynis Johns play a secondary, contrasting pair of lovers, and the cast includes Dina Merrill, Chips Rafferty, Ronald Fraser, John Meillon, and Mervyn Johns. The script, by Isobel Lennart, is based on a novel by Jon Cleary; the cinematography is by Jack Hildyard.

bullet Leonard Maltin Review for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

US (1960): Drama
113 min, No rating, Color
Leonard Maltin Review: 4.0 stars out of 4

First-rate film of Australian family whose lives are devoted to sheepherding. Entire cast excellent, Kerr especially fine. Isobel Lennart adapted Jon Cleary's novel. Wonderfully filmed on location by Jack Hildyard.

bullet Trivia for The Sundowners (1960) bullet

Meryvn Johns replaced an actor who dropped out.

bullet VHS Details bullet

The Sundowners (1960)

Product Details

Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
Studio: Warner Home Video
VHS Release Date: September 16, 1997
Run Time: 133 minutes

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Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum in The Sundowners

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