The Sundowners. 1960. USA/Great Britain. Directed by Fred Zinnemann. Screenplay by Isobel Lennart, based on the novel by Jon Cleary. With Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov, Dina Merrill. 133 min.
The Carmodys, a family of nomadic sheep farmers, are among the early white settlers of the Australian outback. Owning only the scruffy clothes on their backs and the meager tools of their trade, they are more content than those who have so much more. Ida Carmody is practical, no-nonsense and wise, the glue that keeps the family moving forward—especially her idle husband Paddy. The film was originally slated to shoot in Arizona, but director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Australian locations, eventually winning over the reluctant studio head, Jack Warner.