Storm Boy (1976) - full transcript

Mike is a lonely Australian boy living in a coastal wilderness with his reclusive father. In search of friendship he encounters an Aboriginal native loner and the two form a bond in the care of orphaned pelicans.

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You can throw that in
the rubbish.

What is it?

A radio.

We don't want it, son.

Why don't we keep the
radio, dad?

Could have some music,
couldn't we?

What you doing here, boy?

You pinching something?

Know what happen when
little fella tell lies?

Spirit man come at night,

and take him away!



Now sit down!

And do some talking.

Got a gun.

A big one, dad.

Might start killing things.

Can you find the place again?

He's a big fellow, dad.

People aren't allowed
to live on the reserve.

Comin' up now, dad.

Sure this is the spot?

That's where he had
the boat, under that tree.

Well, where's he now?

And where's the fire?

Was over there.



It was!

That's where he grabbed me!

Honest, dad.

Where you going?

Just outside.

Come here.

It's time we had a talk, son.

I want you to grow up honest.

Now, lying's about as
low as a man can get.

It's the coward's way of
getting what he's after.

And you gotta learn you can't
have everything you want.

The radio will tell you

you need this and that and
a thousand other things.

You want more and more,

so you'll end up chasing a
lotta rubbish.

You gotta trust me, son.

Why do we live here?

Because it's the best
place there is.

Watch where you're shooting,
there's people out here!

Hey, who's there?

Are you coming out or do I
have to come in and get you?

Well, come on, let's get out of
here, eh?

You coming, boy?

See if they hit something.

- Morning!
- Morning.

- What have you got today?
- Cockles and mullet.

Could you spare us a
couple of mullet?

Ah, good.

How much do you want for 'em?

Oh, you can pay me on
the way back.

What's your name?

Storm boy.

You run like a black fella!

Like the wind.

I am fingerbone bill.

You live here with your people?

Just my dad.

Mama's dead.

Lonely place.

I don't mind.

Got a big fright.

All that shooting going on.

Think the old ones
will find 'em?

Big blow coming up tonight.

You kill pelican, the
sky come up with a storm.

Come on, there's more.

Dad?

You gone outta your mind?

What are they doing here?

Come on, what's the story?

There was two men
shooting pelicans.

I thought I told you to
keep away from shooters.

Well, go on.

They shot the old ones, dad.

Plenty of other birds
there to feed them.

They'd have died!

- All rubbish.
- They would!

Do you know how much they eat?

I'll catch fish for 'em.

Couldn't catch
enough for pelicans.

Yes, I can.

Anyway, you wouldn't
know how to feed them.

Yeah, I do.

Fingerbone showed me.

Who?

Fingerbone.

Well, who on earth is that?

You better tell me, son.

That man I saw yesterday.

Is he still around, is he?

Well, you can't leave
them there.

Put them in a box.

Long time ago,

all the men were animals.

First kurnai man was a pelican.

He came long way,

long, long way, from the hills.

Carry a bark canoe on his head.

And he goes and he goes
and he goes

and he goes and he goes.

Hear tut-tut-tut, sound
like knocking.

Looks here, looks there.

Where's the tut-tut coming from?

Comes to a river, put down
the canoe.

What's inside?

A musk duck.

Musk duck sit there, goes
tut-tut-tut all the time.

Pelican happy, marries duck.

Start kurnai people.

Morning, Tom.

Frank.

Tom, meet Ms. Walker, the
new teacher

at goolwa primary school.

This is Tom kingley, Ms. Walker.

- How do you do?
- How do you do?

Shall we go inside?

Yeah.

Well, you must be Mike.

- What have you got there?
- Three chick pelicans.

He says the parents
were killed by shooters,

on the reserve.

When?

You'll have a job on your
hands to bring them up.

How old are they, Mike?

They're three weeks, I'd say.

This one looks a bit smaller.

He was sick.

Is he better now?

Have they got names?

Tell me.

This is Mr. proud, Mr. ponder,

and he's Mr. percival.

Well, I best be going.

Oh, could I have a word with you

before you go, please,
Mr. kingley?

What about?

Your son's education.

I believe the former
teacher came to see you

about six months ago about
correspondence lessons.

That's right.

And you haven't done
anything about them, have you?

Not yet.

Every child has a right to
an education.

How old is he? = 10.

Can he read and write,
add, subtract?

I have a new application
form here.

Mike's a bright kid, Tom.

He deserves a chance.

He's learning all he needs to
know.

Sit down.

I got present for you.

Still a bit wet.

Good, eh?

You like it?

Where did you find it?

Washed up.

Can you read?

No, but I'm going to
have lessons.

You got good brains, storm boy.

You learn something.

Did you ever go to school,
fingerbone?

Mission school.

Can you tell what it says?

Um, that fellow have to fight.

He gets beaten.

Can you read that?

That's a,

and what's this?

That's a m.

And that?

What is it?

What's it make all together?

June, 1743,

was large battle in which,

king of england fought
in person.

The French lost 6,000 men.

The english, about 3,000.

Fingerbone.

Look.

Wait.

He's dead, all right.

Why is he still moving?

Spirit.

That's it.

The birds are going
back tomorrow.

About time they did.

Mr. proud!

Mr. ponder!

Mr. percival!

They'll be all right, storm boy.

Pelican proper number one
special bird.

He's got good brains.

Like you.

Mike?

Mike!

Mike!

Come on, have your dinner.

There's no use fretting, son.

Didn't know you'd be upset
that much.

Anyway, wild things should
be free.

He's come back, dad, he's
come back!

Mr. percival's come back!

This is where Mr. percival
went, see?

What's that, storm boy?

- It's a pelican sister.
- Right.

Oh, you're clever, Mr.
Percival, you're terrific.

Dad!

Want to see what Mr. percival
can do?

I learned him, see?

Taught.

Taught him.

Reckon he could help you fish.

He'll bring back anything.

Reckon he could carry a
line out to you, no worries.

Is that a fact?

I'll come fishing with you, dad.

No, you won't, late as it is.

But I can help you, I know how.

Mr. percival?

Let's go!

Mr. percival!

Storm boy!

Storm boy!

You all right?

Proper devil, drink too much.

What's going on?

You fingerbone, eh?

Yeah.

I saw them heading this
way, but I was too far out.

He scared him good and proper.

The name's Tom.

Hide-away Tom?

Yeah.

Thanks.

Good boy, your son.

You lucky man.

Yeah.

Do you like him?

Well, he seems all right.

He's my friend.

You've been seeing a
lot of him, have you?

Where?

In the reserve.

Let's have a look at the damage.

Tom.

Frank.

Looks like you had some trouble.

What gives you that idea?

I caught up with those
blokes near the south lagoon.

You'll be lying a
complaint, willful damage?

Now what's the use, won't
fix all this, will it?

I say you shot at them.

What if I did?

Well, there's a law
against guns in the coorong.

When's is there gonna be one
against lunatics and buggers?

After they've ruined the coorong

and they've churned up
every blade of grass?

Yeah, you could've
killed someone!

Yeah, so could have they!

Your job to keep them out.

Well, that's
easier said than done.

Didn't know you even had a gun.

Can I see the licence, Tom?

Dad didn't shoot.

He didn't!

Well, who did?

Oh, come on, son, out with it.

Fingerbone.

Fingerbone?

The black fella?

He just shot at the light,
that's all.

Yeah, what if he'd
missed, hit a man instead?

Hold on to this.

He a friend of yours?

Oh, then you'll know where
to find him, won't you?

How much further?

Well, where to now?

Do you mean to tell me
you've lost your way?

Never, you know the
coorong better than anyone.

You don't want to get your
friend into trouble, eh?

If you should run into him
before I do,

you tell him what I
said, no more shooting.

You'll have to learn to keep
your mouth shut, won't you?

I've just come to tell you
there's trouble brewing.

The ranger wants to see you
about the gun.

Yeah, there's a law
against people

shacking in the sanctuary.

He might tell you to move on.

This country belong to him?

Maybe not, but the
law says you can't stay.

White fellas law.

You could move in with us.

Couldn't he, dad?

I like it here.

Brought you something.

Proper big one, eh?

Sure.

Dad catched it.

Caught.

Caught.

No need to make a song
and dance about it, son.

Proper number one Tucker, this.

Got him by the river mouth.

Why don't you stay, help me eat.

He cooks good, dad.

Storm boy like
plateful of Tucker.

Storm boy, is that you, is it?

You tribal land around here?

I belong kurnai people.

You know a good herd, don't you?

Fingerbone used to drive
cattle, didn't you?

Dad had a petrol station.

That wasn't mine.

Just got us by, that's all.

Mum and me used to come
and watch him work sometimes.

That was a long time ago.

She'd like it here, wouldn't
she, dad?

Don't you think you've
done enough talking, son?

Where will you go, if you shift
from here?

Go walk about.

That's what I'd do.

If I was on my own, I'd
like that.

No good on your own.

You seem to like it.

No.

Why are you here?

Why aren't you with your tribe?

Old man would kill me.

They point the bone at me.

Why?

I brought the law.

Tribal law.

Law of my people.

Seeing a woman,

might have come to me.

Where's she now?

In city.

White fellows' woman now.

Best thing is to love
no one, fingerbone.

Always end up getting hurt.

I left my wife.

Wonder sometimes now if I done

the right thing by the boy.

Perhaps I should have
stuck it out,

or gone off on my own, left him
with her.

Things might have worked
out different.

Kids need a mother anyway.

Mike!

Mike?

Mike?

Mike!

Hold on!

What are you doing here?

What's wrong?

You on your own?

Come on, come on inside.

Well, I suppose
I better ring the ranger

so he can tell your father.

He'll be worried.

Go on, eat it.

It's cheese, so hope
you like it.

Why'd you leave, Mike?

Is there anybody else,

any other relatives apart
from your father I can tell?

My mother, but I don't
know where she lives.

You don't know?

No, but I'm going to find her.

Hey, how are your pelicans?

Just got the one now,
Mr. percival.

And sir percival was
all of those things.

And he was gentle and humble

and a little bit
vague, and he loved animals.

Yes, come in.

Hello, Mr. kingley.

Won't be a minute.

Well, anyway, sir percival
met up with two other knights.

And one day as they
were standing

on the shore of a great sea,
they saw the holy grail.

It was on the deck of a
ship, laden with treasure.

Did they swim out and get it?

Yes, well, they did finally

manage to get hold of the cup,

but it's a long story and
I'll tell you some other time.

Perhaps when Mike comes to visit
us again.

Come on, Mike.

Now the rest of you can
draw pelicans.

And in silence, please.

Well, thanks, the
ranger told me he'd run.

He was looking for his mother.

- Come on, let's go.
- I'm not going home.

What's that?

I'm not going home.

Maybe you should call her.

Well, if there's anything else I
can do,

I'll be inside.

Well, thanks.

Goodbye, Mike.

See you soon.

You'll have to do something
about his lessons.

What's the matter, son?

Come on, what's all this about?

You always told me my mum
is dead.

Well, she is, Mike.

You told fingerbone
you left her.

She was killed in a
car crash, son.

After I took you away.

I'm sorry.

Come on, let's go home.

We miss you, storm boy.

We all miss you.

Your dad, me, Mr. percival.

He's been looking for
you everywhere.

I'll see you back at the boat.

Are you staying with us,
fingerbone?

Maybe one day.

Not now.

Your dad, really worried.

Look for you all night.

Are you coming or not?

All right, what's your
hurry anyway?

No, he's right, we better
get moving

if we're gonna catch the tide.

See that?

Will you two hurry up?

Are you staying with us?

Where's Mr. percival?

I don't know.

Better grab some sleep.

Don't know what the
night's gonna be.

Big blow, all right.

Quick!

Come on out there.

Come on! - Mike!

Help!

Help!

They're out.

Aline's the only hope.

Long way.

Mr. percival, he can do it.

He can take out line.

Come here, Mr. percival.

Go on, Mr. percival.

Take it.

Go on, Mr. percival.

Go on.

Go on, take it to the boat.

Take it to the boat.

Go on.

You can do it.

- Go on, Mr. percival!
- Go on.

- You can do it!
- Just go!

- Take it to the boat.
- Go on to the boat.

That's right,
take it to the boat.

Just a bit further.

Back right out.

That's right, Mr. percival.

Keep going. - Yeah, go on.

Go on, go on!

You can do it.

- Go on.
- Go on!

Further, Mr. percival!

Further!

- Get over here!
- Come on!

- There!
- Grab it!

Come on!

Down here, drop it!

Drop the line! - Come on!

I knew you could do it,
Mr. percival.

I knew you could.

You're really great.

All right, go on, hang
onto the side of the boat.

Hang on.

Okay, now put this over you.

Okay.

Help!

Go!

Sorry to put you out like this.

That's all right.

I really thought this was it.

The end, if you know
what I mean.

Milk and sugar, help yourselves.

Just black, thanks.

I just don't understand it.

Uncanny, how it happened.

I mean, the storm came from
nowhere.

Just don't understand it.

If we hadn't flushed the rudder.

How on earth did you
train that bird?

Ask my son, he did it.

You must have a way
with animals.

The whole thing's a miracle.

Gonna make headlines.

Absolutely.

Pelican saves four lives.

And when he's dead,

he can go on a glass case
in the museum

for everyone to see him.

We'd like to show
our appreciation.

Well, no need for that.

No, no, we want too.

Of course, you saved four lives.

That's gotta be worth something.

- We don't want money.
- What about a loan?

You could buy a proper house.

Send the boy to a good school.

Look, don't say anything now.

I've been thinking something.

You take what they offer you.

You send Mike to school.

Big proper, number one school.

Boarding school?

Costs too much money.

Business fellas got
plenty money.

They wanted to do it.

Don't think he'd like to go.

Wouldn't mind going to
school at goolwa.

Sometimes.

Oh, that's too far, Mike.

And you couldn't live there.

It's not a boarding school.

Do they lock you up at
boarding school?

No, don't think so.

Can I come and see
Mr. percival sometimes?

And me, when you get holidays.

How often's that?

Well, three times a
year, I think.

Would you be all right
without me?

Can't think of myself
all the time, can 1?

Don't know what to do.

What do you think?

Wish you could come along.

But then, you mightn't like it.

Don't think I would, either.

Reckon I'll stay here with you.

Hey, Mr. percival!

No!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

No!

Don't shoot, no!

What the hell!

Get out of the way,
you stupid kid!

- Mr. percival!
- You'll get hurt.

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

They've shot Mr. percival.

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival!

Mr. percival.

Going to goolwa in the morning.

Would you like to come?

If he'd been killed, you
would have found him.

Reckon he's looking
around to stay on his own.

Find a wife, you know.

He might have got sick
of shooters

and gone where he's safe.

How'd you like it if the
two of us moved to goolwa?

To live, I mean.

I've asked about buying
the service station.

I thought I'd write to these
three blokes.

See if they'd lend me
the cash to make a start.

We gotta stick together,
don't we?

Storm boy!

Storm boy!

I want to show you something.

Yesterday, I went and
went and went.

Found dead pelican.

Was it him?

Yes.

I pick him up, and I bury him.

Show you something else,
storm boy.

Perhaps, Mr. percival
starting all over again.

Bird like him, never die.