Review: Sunday Too Far Away

DVD: Sunday Too Far Away (1975)

Sunday Too Far Away made in 1975 is one of the first ‘Australian New Wave’ films (along with Wake in Fright, Mad Max and Picnic at Hanging Rock). The film is set on a sheep station deep in the Australian outback in 1955 and the story looks at the lives of the men who live and work at the station.

Featuring most of Oz’s great male film actors, and starring the wonderfully manly Jack Thompson, who plays Foley; a heavy drinking, gambling ‘gun shearer’ (traveling expert sheep shearer) as he copes with life on a station in the middle of nowhere. Although he makes a half-hearted attempt at winning over the station owners beautiful daughter, this film has no romance in it at all. This is the sort of film our Dad’s would adore, a film about men, for men. Men who drink, fight (there isn’t any fucking) and are in competition to shear the most sheep. The scenes filmed in the sheep shed are the real thing; the actors must have had training in sheep shearing as they all look pretty proficient in it.

Now this doesn’t sound like a film that would hold a lot of people’s attention, a group of sweaty Australian men arguing, but in fact it’s one of those films that encompasses all life, and despite there being no women as such, there’s a lot to like about this tale of the hard work in the outback.

Oh and out of interest, the film’s title is the lament of an Australian shearer’s wife, ‘Friday night he’s too tired, Saturday night too drunk, Sunday, too far away’.

EXTRA FEATURES:

  • The Making of Sunday – A rare archival TV documentary from 1975
  • Original World Premiere programme from 1975 (PDF)
  • Photo gallery of many rare images

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Umbrella Entertainment.