- Director:Fred Zinnemann
- Writer:Isobel Lennart,Jon Cleary
- Cast:Deborah Kerr,Robert Mitchum,Peter Ustinov
- Time:2h 13min
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Deborah Kerr||-||Ida Carmody|
|Robert Mitchum||-||Paddy Carmody|
|Peter Ustinov||-||Rupert Venneker|
|Glynis Johns||-||Mrs. Firth|
|Dina Merrill||-||Jean Halstead|
|Michael Anderson Jr.||-||Sean Carmody|
|Lola Brooks||-||Liz Brown|
|Wylie Watson||-||Herb Johnson|
|John Meillon||-||Bluey Brown|
Although studio head Jack L. Warner wanted to shoot the movie in Arizona, Director Fred Zinnemann insisted on shooting the exteriors on-location in Australia. The shoot did not go well. Zinnemann spent twelve weeks filming scenery and sheepherding scenes in the outback before the cast arrived. Once the cast got there, the weather began alternating daily between hot sun and cold rain, which resulted in several extra weeks of filming. Robert Mitchum was so harassed by fans, that he had to move onto a boat to get away from them.
Gary Cooper was originally cast in the lead role of Paddy Carmondy, but had to back out due to poor health. Errol Flynn replaced him, but died before production began. Robert Mitchum stepped into the role for the chance to act with his good friend Deborah Kerr, with whom he had previously co-starred in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957). Mitchum agreed to give Kerr top billing, joking to the production team, "You can design a twenty-four-foot sign of me bowing to her if you like."
The man who offers to buy the horse at the end of the movie was played by Jon Cleary, the author of the novel on which this movie was based. He also did an uncredited re-write of the script.
The definition of "Sundowner" given in this movie is not the most common one used in Australia. A "Sundowner" was the term used for a swagman who arrived at a homestead or farm just at sundown, in time to ask for a meal or food, but too late to be asked to do any work. The Sundowner usually departed early in the morning, before anyone else was up and before being asked to do some work.
Deborah Kerr commented in the 1986 biography "Deborah Kerr: Not Just an English Rose", that she should have won the Oscar for her performance in this movie. She received her sixth nomination for Best Actress for her role in this movie, but lost for the sixth time, the most times an actress has been nominated for Best Actress but didn't get it.
It is the only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to win any Academy Awards.
Features Glynis Johns' only Oscar-nominated performance.
Gerry Duggan (Turk) was also thought suitable for a minor role of a drunk.
Mervyn Johns replaced an actor who dropped out.
The same shearing shed at Carriewerloo Station was used in the South Australian Film Corporation movie Sunday Too Far Away (1975).
Uncredited theatrical movie debut of Ray Barrett (Man at Pub/Two-Up Game).
Peter Carver was cast as Clint the Shearer only after the actor first cast was given a different part.
Gerry Duggan (Turk) worked thirty days over eight weeks.
Eileen Moore was considered for a key role.