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Bitter Springs (1950)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 1951 (USA)
Tommy Trinder is called in to smooth things out when Wally King encroaches upon Aboriginal Tribal ground.

Director:

Ralph Smart

Writers:

W.P. Lipscomb (screenplay), Monja Danischewsky (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tommy Trinder ... Tommy
Chips Rafferty ... Wally King
Gordon Jackson ... Mac
Jean Blue Jean Blue ... Ma King
Michael Pate ... Trooper
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ... John King (as Charles Tingwell)
Nonnie Peifer Nonnie Peifer ... Emma King (as Nonnie Piper)
Nicky Yardley Nicky Yardley ... Charlie
Henry Murdoch Henry Murdoch ... Blackjack
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Storyline

Wally King, with his family and stockmen, drive livestock over hundreds of kilometres of dry country to take up their new selection at Bitter Springs, in central Australia. A government trooper warns them that they are moving onto a waterhole that is home to a clan of Aborigines, but King believes he has all the rights. Trouble begins soon after they arrive, when Wally's son John shoots a kangaroo that some Aborigines are trying to spear. Englishman Tommy and his son Charlie are abducted, and the Aborigines burn down the makeshift homestead that Scottish carpenter Mac has built. Hot-headed John kills a young tribesman in a skirmish and is speared trying to get water. The Aborigines cut the family off from the waterhole to force them out. As they await the final attack, the trooper arrives with reinforcements. He has orders to round up the Aborigines and move them off their traditional lands, an order with which he disagrees. A final shot shows another possibility: blacks and whites ... Written by Paul Gerard Kennedy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An adventure story of the Australian bush See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Umbrella Entertainment

Country:

UK | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deserto Negro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ending was reshot after reactions from test screenings. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: 40,000 years of dreaming (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Australian Western
30 April 2011 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

Pioneers in the rugged Australian outback drove a thousand head of sheep into the bush but run afoul the local Indigenous population over custodianship of the land and hunting rights. Perennial ocker Chips Rafferty pairs with cockney Tommy Trinder, whose son is later abducted by aborigines as retribution after Bud Tingwell kills one of the tribe during a heated stoush. Trinder sets out to retrieve his son and also ends up prisoner, but the two guards left to watch the pair are beguiled by his amateur magic tricks enabling both to escape.

Scot Gordon Jackson and Aussies Bud Tingwell and Michael Pate tag along for a little brawn and the occasional moral disagreement with the short tempered Rafferty (particularly Jackson), while half caste tracker and interpreter Henry Murdoch abandons the group and takes up with the aborigines in opposition to Rafferty's rough-handedness.

Standard Australian bush tucker from the era, with apparent racially prejudiced subject matter that might challenge some of today's audience sensitivities, but without commenting on the socio-political atmosphere, there's enough action, landscape, tribal culture and light drama to mildly entertain.


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