Sunday Too Far Away

Australian Workers Film Guide


Set against the backdrop of the 1956 Shearers Strike, legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson plays a hard working shearer (Foley) on a remote sheep station in what became an iconic Australian film. Foley and his mates are tough, competitive and hard drinking outback men determined to defend their hard won pay and conditions against attacks by the wealthy landowning class.

Stalked by loneliness and a deep sense of isolation, the film reveals the hardships and deprivations of the shearer’s life, as well as the constant threat of exploitation – a plight symbolic of the wider Australian working class. 

Social realist scenes of the men shearing paint a picture of working class nobility, while other scenes demonstrate their willingness to take a stand, such as the men voting to exclude the owner from the shearing shed, or confronting strikebreakers in the local pub. Referencing the winning of the 9 month strike, the final caption signifies the inherent dignity of the worker, ‘It wasn’t the money so much. It was the bloody insult.’

Special Notes/Achievements

  • Official selection – Cannes Film Festival (France), 1975
  • Official selection – Taormina International Film Festival (Italy), 1975
  • Official selection – Chicago International Film Festival (USA), 1976 [1]
  • Commercial cinema release, 1975
  • Television broadcasts

[1] Screen Australia (n.d.), Sunday Too Far Away, The Screen Guide [website], viewed Jan 21, 2023 <>

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 94 mins

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Film Producer: Gil Brealey, Matt Carroll,

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Film Key Cast: Jack Thompson – Foley, Gregory Apps – Michael Simpson, Reg Lye – Old Garth, Max Cullen – Tim King, Ken Shorter – Frankie Davis, John Charman – Barman, Phyllis Ophel - Ivy, Robert Bruning – Tom, Arthur Black – Peter Cummins,

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