The Settlement (1984 film)

The Settlement is a 1984 Australian film directed by Howard Rubie and starring Bill Kerr and John Jarratt. It is set in Queensland in the 1950s.[1]

The Settlement
Directed byHoward Rubie
Written byTed Roberts
StarringBill Kerr
John Jarratt
Release date


When two friendly drifters, Jack Kearney (Bill Kerr, Gallipoli) and Tommy Martin (John Jarratt, Wolf Creek) wander into the sleepy country township of Cedar Creek, there is nothing to prepare the innocent locals for the spectacle destined to unfold.

Intent to make loose ends meet and fill their empty pockets by swindling money from some of the naive locals, the two fellas settle in an abandoned shack on the outskirts of town. Befriended by former prostitute and social outcast Joycie (Lorna Lesley, Rabbit-Proof Fence), the two open-minded men welcome her into their home and their hearts, setting in motion a town scandal of considerable concern.

Establishing a sensational ménage à trois in an otherwise highly conservative environment, the loving threesome face the wrath of the greater community, as others in the town strongly disapprove of their new-age living arrangements and set their sights on a bit of good old fashioned outback home-wrecking.


The film was shot over four weeks just outside Brisbane.[2]


Bob Ellis later called it:

A wonderful film. It's a great film. It's like a film that Lawson never wrote but might have. It's sort of a menage a trois outside a country town. I like, particularly, the man played by Tony Barry. He waits for his wife outside while she goes to church. That's what my father did to my mother.[3]


  1. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p110
  2. "Interview with Howard Rubie", Signet, 2 November 1998 Archived 22 February 2013 at accessed 20 November 2012
  3. Interview with Bob Ellis accessed 31 Marcdh 2015
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