What's it About
Drifting sheepherder Paddy Carmody (Mitchum) is blissfully content to roam the Australian countryside with his wife Ida (Kerr) and son Sean (Anderson Jr.). But Ida and Sean fantasize about buying an old farmhouse and settling down in one place. Together they convince Paddy to take a job as a sheep shearer so they can save up for a mortgage. Needless to say, Paddy's less than thrilled with this arrangement, and soon rebels against his new lifestyle.
Why we love it
Filmed on location, this breezy, scenic Western from Down Under earned five Oscar nominations, and has weathered well over the years as a mini-epic about freedom and family bonds. Mitchum and Kerr square off nicely as hardworking but happily married roamers, and even manage to hold their Aussie accents in check most of the time. Peter Ustinov, playing a chipper ex-officer who comes to live with the Carmody family, provides some of the film's highest humor, especially in his flirtatious relationship with hotel owner Glynis Johns. What makes a man wander indeed? Fred Zinnemann's "Sundowners" provides no easy answers, but it's sure fun to tag along.