Dead Heart (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Heart (1996)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Though not quite a western, this gripping Australian drama contains similar themes as it chronicles the unending struggle between native aborigines and ever-encroaching Europeans. Set in the arid red-rock desert west of Alice Springs, a region called Dead Heart by the whites and hailed as a sacred place by the aborigines, the story centers on the travails of Ray Lorkin (Bryan Brown) the local lawman who sees that Australian laws are obeyed in the tiny village of Wala Wala where he is one of only seven whites. The story itself unfolds via flashback as told by the Aboriginal village elder Poppy. The trouble begins in the town jail when an Aboriginal prisoner is discovered dead. Believing the hanging to be murder, the town tribesmen demand revenge. Lorkin, while not fully understanding aboriginal customs, has always tried to remain tolerant and respectful of their ways and so allows his deputy, Billy, to be ritually wounded during a ceremony of vengeance. More trouble brews when Aborigine bootlegger Ray Tony takes the schoolteacher's bored wife Kay out to a particularly sacred area for an illicit tryst. Later, Kate finds Tony dead. Strangely, his body shows no signs of violence. Despite the lacking evidence, Lorkin suspects a murder and demands justice. His investigation leads him down a dangerous, winding path that culminates in a tense and surprising manner. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Bryan Brown
as Ray Lorkin
Ernie Dingo
as David
John Jarratt
as Chalie
Anne Tenney
as Sarah
Billy McPherson
as First Man In Desert
David Gulpilil
as Second Man In Desert
Marshall Napier
as Sgt. Oaks
Peter Francis
as Mannga
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Dead Heart

All Critics (2)

A gripping portrait of the clash between cultures and the underlying distrust that is at the heart of all racism

Full Review… | March 3, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Dead Heart


Dead Heart is a gripping Australian portrait of the clash between cultures and the underlying distrust that is at the heart of all racism.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

Nicely acted piece, particularly by actor Aaron Pedersen, cannot overcome the convoluted and sometimes heavy-going drama film.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Dead Heart Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Dead Heart on our Movie forum!

News & Features