Original Release 1954, 62 Minutes. Total Running Time 157 Minutes
John Heyer's 1954 classic film following an outback mailman along the Birdsville Track. 60th Anniversary Edition.
'The development of inland Australia largely depends on the men who keep open the supply lines and communications - the outback mailmen. In an area larger than Europe, beyond the last roads and railways, their tracks make the map of the inland, they become the roads of tomorrow and mark the growth of the nation.'
Across the centre of Australia ran an ancient 300-mile track that was used by Aboriginal people trading between north and south. Commonly known by settlers as the Birdsville Track, joining Marree in South Australia to Birdsville in Queensland, it was the main thoroughfare for Tom Kruse to deliver mail and supplies to outlying cattle stations. The Back of Beyond follows his remarkable journey and celebrates the characters that define outback Australia.
© John Heyer Family Trust
DVD EXTRAS Three John Heyer historical films:
Journey of a Nation (1947, 11 Minutes) Although it was commissioned as government propaganda, master documentary filmmaker John Heyer has transformed this film about the standardisation of rail gauges into a heroic poem to the nation. When it was made, there were no less than five different sizes of rail track between the mainland states. This meant that at each break, all passengers and goods - even elephants - had to be offloaded and change trains. Journey of a Nation puts the case for a uniform gauge throughout the country, emphasising the economic cost in times of peace and the possible threat to security in times of war. The rail would help to connect Australia’s far-flung settlements and break down the isolation of the outback.
The Reef (1977, 74 Minutes) The Reef captures the beauty of one of the world's living wonders - Australia's Great Barrier Reef. But man-made pollution may set in motion an alarming chain of events which could threaten six hundred thousand years of coral life.
Let's Go (1956, 10 Minutes) 'Motoring isn't just a matter of having a car or a truck, its a matter of knowing about the road.' A classic tale of planning an outback trip long before the advent of GPS, where The Shell Touring Service maps were the only way to go.
Producer/Director/Writer: John Heyer
Original Release: 1954
Total Running Time: 157 Minutes
Curriculum Links: Australian History 'National Identity'; SOSE/HSIE Exploring Australia's National Identity; English 'Australian Identity - Social Life and Customs', K-10 - 'Insights into Aboriginal experiences in Australia'; Indigenous Studies; Geography.