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.
Camille Scaysbrook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Adapted from Marcus Clarke's immortal story
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Did You Know?
A real sailing ship was burned for the movie's climax. Called the Inca, it was loaded with dynamite and - sadly - nitrate film. The effect was spectacular, but countless early Australian films were lost in the blaze. See more
On two intertitles, Van Diemen's Land is misspelled as 'Van Dieman's Land'. See more
Version of The Convict Hero