Shearing life is tough. It’s even more tough in the middle of nowhere when it is crazy hot, you have a terrible cook and have to share the room with a snoring alcoholic who keeps leaving the light on. Just ask Foley (Jack Thompson). Foley’s just returned to shearing after a few years seeking his fortune in the city. He’s a legend – he’s never been beaten for numbers of sheep shorn. The film plays out almost like a series of skits of different things that happen until the last moments of the film where the shearing strike is mentioned – to improve pay and conditions, the shearers went on strike and scabs are brought in.
I found the timing of the shearer’s strike quite odd – it was almost as though it were a last-minute thought rather than the key point of the film, yet the end titles suggest this was what the film was all about. The film is magnificently seventies, with all kinds of special camera effects and the like. It’s not a hugely strong story, but it is worth watching just for the representation of era and place.