This tense and dramatic thriller deals frankly with the subject of Aboriginal deaths while in police custody.

Deadly is set against a backdrop of simmering racial tension in a remote Australian outback town.

Tony Bourke, a young street-wise cop, used to fighting underworld crime in Sydney, is moved to a desk job after he accidentally shoots and kills an innocent bystander during a chase. Given the chance to earn back his old job, Bourke is dispatched to Yabbabri to file a routine report on the death in custody of local Aboriginal man Jimmy Bryant.

His orders are clear - keep the affair away from the media and close the case in twenty-four hours. Despite his instruction, Bourke discovers disturbing irregularities in the circumstances that surround Jimmy's death in the local gaol following a drunken and violent argument.

Although his enquiries are met with hostility from the Aboriginal community and growing suspicion by the white locals, he is determined to continue his investigations.

Bourke is spurred on by his growing interest in Daphne, a beautiful Aboriginal woman who owns the local motel. Although at first suspicious of Bourke, Daphne recognises that he is her only hope of seeing justice done, and helps him to win the trust of Jimmy's brother Eddie, who was Jimmy's cell-mate on the night of his death.

As the town's unrest escalates and press interest is stirred, The Deputy Commissioner demands Bourke's immediate resignation. Realising that he has uncovered a cold-blooded crime, Bourke risks everything to reveal the true cause of Jimmy Bryant's death.


Jerome Ehlers - Sergeant Tony Bourke
Frank Gallacher - Mick Thornton
Lydia Miller - Daphne
John Moore - Eddie
Alan David Lee - Constable Barry Blainey
Caz Lederman - Irene
Julie Nihill - Jeny
Tony Barry - Deputy Commissioner Graham Stewart
Lillian Crombie - Sally
Steve Dodd - Kummengu
Andrew S. Gilbert - Constable Peter Morton
John Gregg - Minister
Bill Hunter - Vernon Giles
David Kennedy - Wally Nobody
Richard Moir - Willie the pathologist
Kirrily Nolan - Siobham
Anna North - Junkie
Les Shillingsworth - Singer at funeral
Kevin Smith - Jerry
Martin Vaughan - Doctor Ward
Bruce Venables - Archie
Michael Watson - Rocky
Andrew Windsor - Punk
Release dates
1992 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
M - Mature
Hoyts Distributions
INXS, Midnight Oil

Yabbabri is a fictitious country town. The movie was shot in Wilcannia, NSW, in the vicinity of Broken Hill.

German title: "Stärker als der Haß".

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, Deadly, <>, retrieved 16 June 2024

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