THE SUNDOWNERS (1960) C widescreen 113m dir: Fred Zinnemann
w/Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns, Dina Merrill, Chips Rafferty, Michael Anderson Jr.
From Variety 's review of the film: "Jon Cleary's novel is the basic source from which director Fred Zinnemann's inspiration springs. Between Cleary and Zinnemann lies Isobel Lennart's perceptive, virile screenplay, loaded with bright, telling lines of dialog and gentle philosophical comment. But, fine as the scenario is, it is Zinnemann's poetic glances into the souls of his characters, little hints of deep longings, hidden despairs, indomitable spirit that make the picture the achievement it is.
"On paper, the story sounds something short of fascinating. It tells of a 1920s Irish-Australian sheepdrover whose fondness for the freedom of an itinerant existence clashes with the fervent hope of settling-down shared by his wife (Deborah Kerr) and his son (Michael Anderson Jr.). The wife, in an effort to raise funds for a down-payment on a farm, persuades her husband to accept stationary employment as a shearer.
"Mitchum's rugged masculinity is right for the part. There are moments when he projects a great deal of feeling with what appears to be a minimum of effort. Kerr gives a luminous and penetrating portrayal of the faithful wife, rugged pioneer stock on the outside, wistful and feminine within. There is one fleetingly eloquent scene at a train station, in which her eyes meet those of an elegant lady traveller, that ranks as one of the most memorable moments ever to cross a screen.
"Peter Ustinov, as a whimsical, learned bachelor who joins the family and slowly evolves into a 'household pet,' gives a robust, rollicking performance. Glynis Johns is a vivacious delight as a hotelkeeper who sets her sights on matrimonally-evasive Ustinov.
""Art, photographic and technical skills are extremely well represented by the craftsmen asembled in the bush country of Australia and at Elstree Studios in London."
Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actress (Kerr), Supporting Actress (Johns), and Screenplay Adaptation.