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In the mid-19th century, Ned Kelly, the 16-year-old son of an Irishman deported to Australia for stealing two pigs, is unjustly sent to prison. He returns home 3 years later to find his widowed mother engaged to George King, an American horse thief, and his brother in jail for cattle theft. In an attempt to lead an honest life, Ned opens a sawmill, but the authorities continue to watch him. One night in a bar, Fitzpatrick, a resentful British policeman, drugs one of Ned's drinks and arrests him for drunkenness. After a short stay in jail, Ned is released and, with his brothers and King, steals a herd of horses and heads for the outback. Fitzpatrick and two other policemen pursue the Kelly gang but are killed in an ambush. Upon learning that his pregnant mother has been falsely arrested for murder, Ned offers himself in exchange, but the provincial governor refuses to accept the trade. The gang, protected with make-shift suits of armor, manages to elude the police for a while, until they are trapped in a saloon. Surrounded, and with no hope of escape, Ned's two brothers honor the gang's vow never to be taken alive, and both commit suicide. Ned, who temporarily escapes, is captured, quickly tried, and hanged.