6.1/10
185
4 user 4 critic

Burke & Wills (1985)

A story based on true events about two explorers on a doomed journey trying to cross Australia on foot in the 19 century.

Director:

Graeme Clifford

Writer:

Michael Thomas
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Thompson ... Robert O'Hara Burke
Nigel Havers ... William John Wills
Greta Scacchi ... Julia Matthews
Matthew Fargher Matthew Fargher ... John King
Ralph Cotterill Ralph Cotterill ... Charley Gray
Drew Forsythe Drew Forsythe ... Brahe
Chris Haywood ... Tom McDonagh
Monroe Reimers ... Dost Mahomet
Ron Blanchard Ron Blanchard ... Bill Patton
Barry Hill Barry Hill ... George Landells
Roderick Williams Roderick Williams ... Bill Wright
Hugh Keays-Byrne ... Ambrose Kyte
Arthur Dignam Arthur Dignam ... Sir William Stawell
Ken Goodlet Ken Goodlet ... Doctor John Masadam
Edward Hepple Edward Hepple ... Ludwig Becker
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Storyline

A story based on true events about two explorers on a doomed journey trying to cross Australia on foot in the 19 century.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They dared to challenge the unknown. They were the first. They crossed the Australian continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1985 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Burke e Wills See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 8,900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production shoot for this picture ran for a principal photography period of around thirteen weeks. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the conclusion of the cast list in the end credits it reads: Mr. Stillwell as himself. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Wills & Burke (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamt that I Dwelt in Marble Halls
from "The Bohemian Girl" Act II
Music by Michael William Balfe (as Michael Balfe) and lyrics by Alfred Bunn (uncredited)
Sung by Vanessa Fallon
Piano played by Leon Gibbons
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating Australian History Lesson
28 July 2011 | by Sturgeon54See all my reviews

What an odd, yet incredibly moving film - a "forgotten epic." As an American not knowing one thing about Australian history - especially Burke and Wills (Australia's counterparts to the explorers Lewis and Clark in American history), I was expecting an adulatory foreign period piece. Instead, this is an insightful, dark, and often terrifying adventure story about the triumphs and travails of the first two European white men to completely cross the Australian continent in the 1860s. Performances here are first-rate - especially that of Jack Thompson - as are the cinematography and unusual cross-time editing. Also interesting to me are some of the parallels between the tenuous relationships of whites and natives in both Australia and the U.S. at the time. Though this movie may never find an audience in the U.S. (it is very rare and has never been released on DVD), it deserves to be re-discovered.


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