The Sundowners

The Sundowners

The Sundowners is a 1960 Technicolor comedy-drama film that tells the story of a 1920s Australian outback family torn between the father's desires to continue his nomadic sheep-herding ways and the wife and son's desire to settle in one place. The Sundowners was produced and directed by Fred Zinnemann, adapted by Isobel Lennart from Jon Cleary's 1952 novel of the same name, with Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, and Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns, Mervyn Johns, Dina Merrill, Michael Anderson Jr., and Chips Rafferty.


Irish-Australian Paddy Carmody (Robert Mitchum) is a sheep drover and shearer, roving the sparsely populated outback with his wife Ida (Deborah Kerr) and son Sean (Michael Anderson, Jr.). They are sundowners, constantly moving, pitching their tent whenever the sun goes down. Ida and Sean want to settle, but Paddy has wanderlust and never wants to stay in one place for long. While passing through the bush, the family meet refined Englishman Rupert Venneker (Peter Ustinov) and hire him to help drive a large herd of sheep to the town of Cawndilla. Along the way, they survive a dangerous bushfire.