Sunday Too Far Away

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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Director Ken Hamman's breakthrough historical drama was the first Australian film of the 1970s to gain international acclaim, paving the way for the Australian New Wave and the success of movies such as The Last Wave and Breaker Morant. Sunday Too Far Away is a story about the struggles of itinerant sheep shearers in the Outback in the 1950s. Jack Thompson won an Australian Best Actor prize for his role as Foley, a hard-drinking, hard-working shearer who is the best at his profession. When local landowners try to drive away the sheep herders, Foley leads a strike to establish their right to exist and live off the land. The dispute turns violent as the landowners retaliate, and Foley struggles to maintain his supremacy. Many scenes were shot in the same shearing barn used in the 1960 British-Australian hit The Sundowners, which was about an Irish sheepherder who emigrates to Australia. The title comes from a traditional song of complaint sung by sheep shearers' wives. The film became a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Sunday Too Far Away

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Audience Reviews for Sunday Too Far Away


It wasn't the money. It was the bloody insult. As Foley(Jack Thompson) tells it over after who knows how many beers, his plan is to work for a few years shearing sheep before retiring to the coast. To put him in this general direction, his old friend Tim King(Max Cullen), now a contractor, hires Foley for a job but not before he settles a bar bet in his favor. Along the way, they collect others, including Michael(Gregory Apps), a young roustabout, to take to the ranch where the most important element is having enough lemon essence for Quinn(Ken Weaver), the cook. Its opening car crash notwithstanding, "Sunday Too Far Away" gets off to a rough start, populated as it is with references to the backbreaking profession of sheep shearing.(I had to look up what a roustabout is which cleared up a thing or two.) But as time goes on, this is less about the profession than the cult of masculinity in the Australian outback where men are real men, women are real women and the sheep are really nervous and we get a very clear idea where such a life of hard living will eventually lead.(I was surprised not to see any signs of prostitution. Otherwise, there is not that much for the men to do in their down time, except drink and inspect tomorrow's sheep.) As such, the movie is full of symbolism, like the rams(not the St. Louis variety, either) being the first ones to be shorn, with a special admonition to be very careful.(There is a running competition amongst the men as to who is best.) On the other hand, maybe it is not all symbolic in this gritty movie, as sometimes doing laundry is just doing laundry, even stark naked.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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