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Film / Ned Kelly (1970)

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The poster for the original film.
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Ned Kelly is a 1970 Biopic, directed by Tony Richardson and starring Mick Jagger as Ned.

It is based on the story of 19th-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Not to be confused with another film of the same title, released in 2003.


Ned Kelly provides examples of:

  • Armor Is Useless: Subverted. Ned's improvised helmet and breastplate protect him from the coppers' bullets.
  • Badass Beard: Ned grows one during his time in the bush.
  • Big Bad: Superintendant Nicholson, head of the corrupt police department that drove Ned to crime.
  • The Blacksmith: Ned turns some rusty old plows into a suit of armor.
  • Bulletproof Vest: A full suit of armour, in this case.
  • Bounty Hunter: The gang gets into a shootout with a German immigrant wearing a pickelhaube.
  • The Dandy: Ned steals a velvet tailcoat and frilly shirt from a wealthy landowner.
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  • Dirty Cop: Some of the coppers take bribes not to arrest criminals, and run protection rackets to extort money from poor homesteaders.
  • Determined Widow: Ma Kelly.
  • Downer Ending: Ned is captured and hanged after his backup guys kill each other due to thinking they're gonna get captured.
  • Fake Irish: Mick Jagger's attempt to imitate the real life Kelly's accent.
  • Folk Hero: Ned is viewed as Australia's Robin Hood because he targets wealthy asshole victims who cause suffering among the poor.
  • Guns Akimbo: Ned wields a pair of Colt revolvers in the final shootout.
  • The Gunslinger: Ned idolizes the dime novel outlaws of the Old West.
  • Hate Sink: Fitzpatrick, an Irishman who joined the English police despite's their mistreatment of his people, forcibly kisses Ned's sister-in-law, and frames Ma Kelly for an injury he got by accident.
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  • The Hero Dies: The film opens with Ned's hanging.
  • Historical Beauty Update: Scooter-Riding Mod Mick Jagger portrays Ned.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Fitzpatrick getting Ma Kelly arrested by lying about an injury he got by accident.
    • Judge Barry sentencing Ma's infant grandson to prison just because she was holding him throughout the trial.
    • Superintendant Nicholson ordering everybody the Kellys gave any kind of money to arrested as an accomplice in their robberies.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: The banks threaten to repossess the Irish settlers' land, and throw them out of their homes.
  • Notable Original Music: Mick Jagger had minimal musical involvement with the 1970 version. Instead, it featured several narrative ballads composed by Shel Silverstein and sung by Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.
  • Pet the Dog: The gang is popular with their fellow Irish settlers because during a bank robbery Ned burned all the paperwork listing the bank's debtors.
  • Preacher Man: Father O'Hea.
  • Prospector: Being set during Australia's Gold Rush, Ned encounters and robs a mule train carrying nuggets.
  • Rancher: The antagonistic wealthy landowners whom Kelly robs.
  • The Rustler: The Kelly brothers resort to stealing horses to feed their starving family.
  • The Sheriff: Superintendent Nicholson.
  • The Western: The Bushrangers are the Aussie equivalent of desperados, and the Victoria police fill the role of the Posse.
  • Young Gun: Ned and the gang.

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