Saturday, November 23, 2013

1946 - THE OVERLANDERS, World War II Australian cattle drive western

During World War II, the Australian government wanted to promote their contribution to the war effort.  Great Britain's Ealing studios usually a provider of genteel English comedies featuring Alec Guinness decided to take up the challenge.  Ealing sent director Harry Watt on a research trip to figure out a story.  The end result was a film about a cattle drive from northern Australia to the south to prevent the cattle falling into the hands of the Japanese in case of an invasion.

Tbe Overlanders was filmed on location by Watt with Australian actors and a camera crew in some fairly rugged locations.  The film has an epic scope and impressive photography, it is also a rather boring film.

The main problem with The Overlanders is that the cattle drive film has been done to death.  Dressing it up by filming it in Australia can't really change or improve on the typical troupes of this genre.

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