This breakthrough historical drama was the first Australian film of the 1970s to gain international acclaim, paving the way for the success of movies such as 'The Last Wave' and 'Breaker Morant', and telling of the struggles of itinerant sheep shearers in the Outback in the 1950s. Jack Thompson won Australian Best Actor for his role as a hard-drinking, hard-working shearer who leads a strike against the landowners to establish their right to exist and live off the land. Many scenes were shot in the same shearing barn used in the 1960 British-Australian hit 'The Sundowners', about an Irish sheepherder who emigrates to Australia. The title is from a traditional song of complaint sung by sheep shearers' wives.
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