Based on the Australian classic by Marcus Clarke, the story of convict Rufus Dawe was based on fact and reflects that of many convicts of Australia's early days. Rufus Dawe has been wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit, and sent to the harsh penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, Australia - for the term of his natural life. In his attempts to escape the colony forever, he falls in love with a warden's daughter, Sylvia, confronts his sinister lookalike John Rex, and the evil convict Gabbet. American director Norman Dawn's movie adaptation strays from the original book but retains a strong visual style, especially in climactic crowd scenes. It is notorious as the movie that was meant to launch Australia into the world movie market, but instead cost investors thousands after the coming of sound stymied its potential for overseas success. Written by
Camille Scaysbrook <email@example.com>
THERE MUST BE A REASON? Discover the magnetic personality of this screen masterpiece yourself! (Print ad- Sunday Times ((Sydney NSW)) 24 July 1927)
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Did You Know?
Rex's escape on the Osprey is based on the seizure of the brig, Frederick, by ten convicts after the closure of the Macquarie Harbour penal settlement. The convicts landed their captives on the shore and then set sail. Unlike Rex who is recaptured in the film, these convicts managed to sail the Frederick to Chile. See more
On two intertitles, Van Diemen's Land is misspelled as 'Van Dieman's Land'. See more