Kangaroo - The Australian Story (1952)

Kangaroo - The Australian Story (1952) Front Cover DVD

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Kangaroo - The Australian Story (1952) Back Cover DVD

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An Australian "Western" set at some vague time perhaps a century ago. Richard Connor (Peter Lawford) is a desperate young man in Sydney, Australia, trying to find the money to return home. While staying at a boarding house, he is mistaken by the drunk Michael McGuire (Finlay Currie) for his long-lost son, Dennis, whom McGuire had abandoned to an orphanage as a child, a deed for which he now deeply blames himself. Later that night, Connor attempts to rob John Gamble (Richard Boone) outside a gambling house, but after he finds him equally broke, he is talked into assisting him in robbing the establishment, during which the owner is shot. Connor and Gamble make off with the loot, stopping at the boarding house to get Connor's gear, whereupon McGuire, still drunk, pursues his "son" down the street until he collapses. They find on him information on his extensive station (for which he was trying to secure loans in Sydney) and his boat ticket, and decide to pose as his business partners to get on the boat and away to hide out with him in the Outback.

The next day, the now sober McGuire does not remember anything, and is at first suspicious of them, until he finds he has the ?500 they claimed to have paid him for cattle (planted on him from the stolen loot). Along the way (first by boat, then by horse) they subtly drop hints that Connor (now calling himself Dennis Connor) may be his lost son, without letting on that McGuire himself had talked about him, in this way hoping to gain possession of the station.

Arriving at the station, they are both smitten by his daughter Dell (Maureen O'Hara), but held in some suspicion by the local trooper Len (Chips Rafferty), who has been Dell's local beau. Gamble does his best to scotch a budding attraction between Dell and Connor, because it will spoil the plan to pass him off as her lost brother. Biding their time both to develop their plan and hide out from the law, they end up helping the station get back on its feet, rescuing stray cattle, heading off a stampede, and culminating in a daring repair of an out-of-control windmill during a windstorm. McGuire is finally convinced that Connor is his son, and seeing the romantic interest of his daughter in him, tells her his conclusion. Overhearing her despair at this news, Connor feels he must confess, and Gamble sees their plan fail on the brink of success because of the annoying conscience of his partner.

Having confessed not only to not be Dennis, but to be wanted in the murder of the gambling house owner, Connor and Gamble flee the station, with trooper Len in hot pursuit. When he catches up to them, Gamble is about to shoot him when Connor pulls the gun away with a bullwhip. The two partners in crime now have a vicious bullwhip fight. Gamble retrieves the gun and shoots at Connor, but Len fatally shoots Gamble. Len then takes Connor back to the McGuire station, where he recovers from his injuries, being promised clemency for saving Len's life, and with the promise of a future with Dell.


Maureen O'Hara as Dell McGuire
Peter Lawford as Richard Connor
Finlay Currie as Michael McGuire
Richard Boone as John W. Gamble
Chips Rafferty as Trooper "Len" Leonard
Letty Craydon as Kathleen, McGuire's Housekeeper
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell as Matt
Henry Murdoch as Piper

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