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Film / Mad Dog Morgan

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Mad Dog Morgan is a 1976 Australian Western based on the life of historical bushranger Dan Morgan. Dennis Hopper plays the title role, and Philip Mora directs.

More info on IMDb and on Horrorphile.


Tropes:

  • Badass Beard: The Outlaw Morgan grows one.
  • Bald of Evil: Superintendent Cobham (Frank Thring).
  • Big Bad: Cobham
  • Bounty Hunter: Baylis (John Hargreaves).
  • Chinese Laborer: Morgan is framed for the murder of a Chinese work detail.
  • Depraved Homosexual: On the prison ship, Morgan is raped by a gang of gay convicts.
  • Dirty Cop: Sergeant Smith runs several protection rackets.
  • Downer Ending: Morgan is fatally wounded at his last stand, and the Big Bad orders his corpse mutilated.
  • The Dragon: Smith is Cobham's right hand man.
  • Evil Brit: Cobham has an upper class English accent.
  • Frontier Doctor: Herr Doktor Dobbyn is a German immigrant.
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  • The Gunslinger: Morgan outdraws and kills Smith.
  • Guns Akimbo: Morgan, with a pair of shotguns.
  • Hate Sink: Superintendant Cobham, a Corrupt Politician who is introduced commending a judge for deliberately imposing harsh sentences to exploit their labour, strangles a guy who knew nothing of Morgan's whereabouts, and orders Morgan's corpse mutilated at the end of the film.
  • Hellhole Prison: The convicts are transported to Australia in a cramped, sweltering prison hulk.
  • The Hero Dies: Morgan is killed by gunshot during his last stand.
  • Karma Houdini: Cobham is never punished for his corruption.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Judge Barry flat admitting that he gives out undeservingly harsh sentences to people so the Crown can exploit their labour.
    • The warden of the Success letting Morgan be raped, only telling the rapists to not kill him.
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    • Superintendant Cobham strangling an Aboriginal prisoner for not knowing where Morgan was, and later ordering his corpse mutilated.
  • Mad Scientist: The doctor collects and measures the skulls of executed criminals.
  • Noble Savage: Billy
  • Off with His Head!: Cobham orders the doctor to decapitate Morgan's corpse.
  • Pinkerton Detective: Mainwaring (Jack Thompson)
  • Protagonist Title: Mad Dog Morgan,
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Cobham's henchmen succeed in killing Morgan.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Sergeant Smith has a teardrop tattooed below his eye, hinting that he is an ex-convict or army deserter.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Sergeant Smith and his boss, Cobham.
  • The Western: The Highwayman Morgan is a desperado Anti-Hero in the mould of Jesse James, Cobham is a combination of villainous U.S. Marshal and Hanging Judge, Mainwaring is an ethical sheriff's deputy, the Aborigines represent the Indians, and the coppers are the US Cavalry.

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