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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

‘The Proposition’: A Brutal and Visionary Western from 1880's-Era Australia

“The Proposition” (2005) is an Australian western set during the 1880’s and starring Guy Pearce as Charlie Burns, an outlaw member of the notorious Burns Brothers Gang.

When Charlie and his younger brother Mikey (Richard Wilson) are captured by the ruthless Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone), Charlie is given a choice between either hunting down and killing his elder brother Arthur (Danny Huston), a vicious psychopath known as “The Dog Man", or watching Mikey die on the gallows.

Given nine days to complete his assignment, Charlie sets off into the Outback in search of his formidable sibling—an existential journey that leads him deep into the perilous, remote interior of the Australian continent and ultimately face-to-face with his own mortality.

Written by renowned musician Nick Cave (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Triple 9), “The Proposition” is a vicious yet resoundingly artful affair that delivers a nice modern shot in the arm to the western genre. As elegant as it is brutally effective, and featuring a number of neo-classic cinematic moments (including a stunning rendition of “Peggy Gordon” by Tom Budge), this one’s certainly worth seeking out.


View the trailer:


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