"The Overlanders" Is Released
The Overlanders is a 1946 Australian film about drovers droving a large herd of cattle 1600 miles overland from Wyndham in Western Australia through the Northern Territory outback of Australia to pastures north of Brisbane, Queensland during World War II.
The film was one of several produced in Australia by Ealing Studios, and featured among the cast Chips Rafferty.
The film score was written by the English composer John Ireland. It was his only film score. An orchestral suite was extracted from the score by the conductor Sir Charles Mackerras after Ireland's death.
Australian action star Chips Rafferty heads the cast of The Overlanders. The time is World War II, and we know one thing for sure: Rafferty is no "Hud." When ordered to kill 1000 head of cattle rather than risk losing them to the Japanese, Rafferty herds the beef-on-hoof across the Australian continent. The 2000-mile cattle drive costs dearly in terms of personal losses to Rafferty and his fellow drovers, but in the end their sacrifices are worth it. The Overlanders is based on a true story, and was specifically selected for adaptation to film as a congratulatory morale-booster for postwar Australian audiences. The film was the first non-British film to be produced by Michael Balcon's Ealing Studio. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide