Cast & Crew
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.
Tim Van Rellim
Shirley May Donald
Strangely enough, Mick Jagger was not Richardson's first choice for the title role. It was actually Albert Finney but the actor was unavailable. So, when Richardson got word that a certain member of The Rolling Stone was interested in developing a serious acting career, he was intrigued. After preliminary discussions, Jagger agreed to take the role, convinced he could adequately handle the horse riding and the required firearms. It was also agreed that Marianne Faithful, Jagger's girlfriend at the time, would play his girlfriend in the film. Easier said than done.
Ned Kelly turned into an extremely difficult shoot for numerous reasons. Only a day after she arrived on the set, Faithful took a massive overdose of sleeping pills and was rushed to the hospital where she lapsed into a coma. Miraculously, she survived but Richardson had to replace her with another actress. Meanwhile, the Australian press had a field day with the incident, hounding Jagger for comments and, in one incident, a reporter disguised as a hospital intern gained access to Faithful's hospital room and captured her comatose form with his camera. Other delays occurred while the crew was filming in Melbourne near Canberra College. It just happened to coincide with an annual weeklong collegiate party that resulted in widespread property damage and out-of-control crowd rampages, all of which threatened the safety of the cast and crew. Another potentially dangerous situation arose during a shootout scene when a piece of jagged metal pierced Jagger's hand, barely missing his eye. Luckily, his forefinger, which was crucial for his guitar playing, was unaffected and he recovered quickly. Finally, Richardson's first choices for the soundtrack musicians - The Band, Van Morrison, or Johnny Cash - all fell through and he eventually settled on a score by Shel Silverstein with vocal contributions by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Tom Ghent, and Jagger performing "The Wild Colonial Boy." Needless to say, the final cut of Ned Kelly was not the film Richardson originally envisioned but it remains a genuine curiosity and is a must-see for Mick Jagger fans.
Director: Tony Richardson
Producer: Neil Hartley
Screenplay: Ian Jones, Tony Richardson
Cinematography: Gerry Fisher
Editor: Charles Rees
Art Direction: Andrew Sanders
Music: Shel Silverstein
Cast: Mick Jagger (Ned Kelly), Clarissa Kaye (Mrs. Kelly), Mark McManus (Joe Byrne), Ken Goodlet (Superintendent Nicholson), Frank Thring (Judge Barry), Bruce Barry (George King).
by Jeff Stafford
Diane Craig replaced Marianne Faithfull as costar when Faithfull ended up hospitalized from a drug overdose.
Mick Jagger (Ned Kelly) wrote the song "Brown Sugar" while filming this movie.
Filmed on location in Australia. Opened in London in July 1970.
Released in United States 1970
Released in United States 1994
Released in United States 1970
Released in United States 1994 (Shown in New York City (Walter Reade) as part of program "Laughter in the Dark: Tony Richardson" August 26 - September 13, 1994.)