The back of beyond 50th ann

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 22:49
ThreadID: 13806 Views:6166 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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Who is going to the 50th anniversary of the Tom Kruise thing?

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The Back of Beyond (BoB) & Launch of The Tom Kruse Collection on DVD

PURPOSE: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first showing of The Back of Beyond at Marree, to pay tribute to the life of Birdsville Track mailman EG (Tom) Kruse MBE in his 90th year and to raise funds for the Marree Hospital and the RFDS.

LOCATION: Marree, South Australia
Main Street and Marree Community Hall

DATES: 12.00 noon Saturday July 24th to
2.00 pm Sunday July 25th 2004

IN SUPPORT OF:Marree Hospital and Royal Flying Doctor Service

ATTENTION: Keith Webb – Image Control

Corrugated Air Productions
0417 819 189

Transport and accommodation packages are being arranged by Dave Burge from Back of Beyond Tours ph 0417 833 982 or visit

For local bookings and information ring Penny or Lizzie at the Marree Telecentre ph 08 8675 8222 / email


Date Time Activity Location

Sat 24th 12.00 noon Close road from Irene’s to
Western end of Marree Hotel

1.00 pm Ticket sales BBQ & Films Front of Hotel

2.00 pm Tom & Valma arriveMarree Airstrip

4.00 pm Official opening Front of Hotel

4.20 pm Presentation to Tom & Valma from
the Marree Community

4.25 pm Official 2004 photographs of people
who appeared in The Back of Beyond /
families of those who appeared in BoB

4.45 pm BBQ dinner

6.30 pm 1st screening of BoB Community Hall
7.45 pm Supper #1
8.00 pm 1st screening of LMFB
9.00 pm 1st Session ends

9.30 pm 2nd screening of BoB
10.30 pm Supper #2
10.45 pm 2nd Screening of LMFB and
other Tom Kruse films
12.30 am 2nd session ends

Sun 25th 8.00 am Recovery BBQ Breakfast Front of Hotel

12.00 noon VIP Lunch Hotel Dining Rom
Re-open Road

2.00 pm Tom & Valma and partyAirstrip
depart for Adelaide
Badger and ‘Henry’ depart

MEDIA RELEASE 15th April 2004

The Back of Beyond celebrates 50 years

On July 24th 1954 at the Marree Town Hall, the multi award winning classic Australian film The Back of Beyond was screened for the first time in outback Australia. Fifty years later to the day, a double DVD of the four major film and television stories about legendary outback mailman EG (Tom) Kruse MBE will be launched to commemorate this historic screening.

“We are delighted Tom and Valma Kruse and other cast members, the fully restored 1936 Back of Beyond Leyland Badger and ‘Henry’, the replica Back of Beyond Blitz truck (named after Tom’s mail run travelling companion Henry Butler) will be in Marree for the celebratory weekend on July 24th. It will be a memorable celebration, a significant tribute to Tom in his 90th year and the town is right behind the event,” Executive Producer Ian Doyle said.

Outback mailman Tom Kruse was a film star before his Top Gun Hollywood namesake Tom Cruise was born. The 1954 Australian film classic The Back of Beyond introduced Tom Kruse and his 1936 Leyland Badger mail truck to a generation of Australians. Most never forgot the extraordinary images of the man and his battered trucks doing battle each fortnight with the sand and isolation along the Birdsville Track - outback Australia’s toughest mail run.

The 500-kilometre track runs from Marree in northern South Australia to Birdsville in southwest Queensland. Tom Kruse played himself, delivering mail, fuel and supplies to the isolated families along the world famous track. Produced by the Shell Company Film Unit, directed by John Heyer and shot in black and white, The Back of Beyond remains one of the most critically acclaimed and awarded films ever produced in Australia. It won Best Film at the Venice Film Festival in 1954, as well as many other international awards. The impressive 1954 Venice Film Festival trophy, loaned by the Shell Company, will be on display at the screening in Marree.

The 50-year tribute double DVD The Tom Kruse Collection includes The Back of Beyond (Film Australia 1954), The Outback Mailmen (ABC Countrywide 1986), The Postman
(ABC TV Australian Story 1996) and Last Mail From Birdsville – the Story of Tom Kruse (Corrugated Air Productions 1999).

“The project is a joint production between Film Australia, ABC TV, the RFDS, the CMV Foundation and Corrugated Air Productions and is of national significance. Tom Kruse is a dogged, tough giant of a man who was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in 1955 for services to the people of the outback. We recognise far too few of our heroes. This double anniversary DVD will celebrate the life of one of this country’s living legends,” Ian Doyle said.

The main street in Marree will be closed from 12 noon on Saturday for the official opening at 4.00 pm, followed by a community BBQ in front of the Marree Hotel. The screenings at the Marree Community Hall will start at 6.30 pm. Funds raised from the BBQ, the recovery breakfast on Sunday morning and the film evening are in support of the Marree Hospital and the RFDS.

Transport and accommodation packages are being arranged by Dave Burge from Back of Beyond Tours ph 0417 833 982 or ring Penny or Lizzie at the Marree Telecentre ph 08 8675 8222 / email for local bookings and information.

More Information:

Ian Doyle
Executive Producer
0417 819 189
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 23:02

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 23:02
Yep that sounds great,

Thanks for the tip Truckster. That sounds like a great escape from Adelaide in the middle of winter. Up early Saturday morning I could be there by lunchtime when the fun starts. Bush camp on Sat night and then recovery on Sunday and back to Adelaide in the afternoon. Beats sitting at home.

Are you going? A bit further from mexico I suppose.....

AnswerID: 63347

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 23:12

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 23:12
Would love to, but dont think I would get parole. :'(
FollowupID: 324607

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 11:24

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 11:24
go awol
and worry about the consequences on the way back home
FollowupID: 324661

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 19:15

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 19:15
May as well, IM not using them as it is.... :(
FollowupID: 324718

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 23:11

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 23:11
How many hours from Little Mexico??
FollowupID: 324756

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 23:21

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 23:21
It's ok I looked it up..travelmate says 9.33hours
FollowupID: 324758

Reply By: outback ted - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 13:12

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 13:12
Thanks Truckster

I think you have just turned my July inside out.
I was wondering when I could replace my old Tom Kruse videos.
As I write this the Akubra that Tom signed for me in Adelaide in 1999 sits above my desk.
Took the grandson to Birdswood to see the truck last September.
It sounds like a great weekend, i will have to work on the "BOSS" to be able to get away.


AnswerID: 63416

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 18:55
Glad to help Mr..

I would love to go there, would also love to get a copy of the movies.. :(

Baby due any day now due 26th, stops anything comin up :) and :( ;)
FollowupID: 324714

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 20:49

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 20:49
Truckster, this is a very important post you have made. The re-enacment for the Back of Beyond was done out of the Birdsville Caravan Park in 1999 - without a doubt it was the BEST and greatest weekend I have spent in Birdsville - it was such a privilege to be involved and to meet with a personal hero - Tom Kruse. I was only 8 yrs old when Dad took me to the BP Theatre in Brisbane to see a documentary called the "Back of Beyond" - that was when I decided I needed to come to Birdsville. It took many years but I finally made it - all because I saw what Tom Kruse was doing. What a man - what a legend - and I finally met him and Val in 1999. The nicest people. In August this year of 2004, Tom will turn 90. This event in Marree is very special because they "boys" have been working to get a couple of the vehicles working, especially for this weekend - probably the last that Tom will be involved in. The videos are available from the Wirrarri Information Centre in Birdsville on (07) 46563300 - the original and the re-enactment. My husband is Ian Doyle (but not the Ian Doyle of Executive Producer fame) - mine just gets the blame for the SA Ian Doyle! LOL.
If anyone has a chance to go to Marree - and Tom being Tom - you will no doubt have a chance to meet and speak with him personally- then take that chance - it is a once in a lifetime thing to meet such a personable, knowledgeable and wonderful Australian (and his delightful wife Val - what a support) - do it. You won't regret it.
AnswerID: 63496

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 21:46

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 21:46
I might see if I can get parole for this, I would love to go.. but chances are about 1 in 1002938029340293840923840928340923804982304982309482039482039482039802394023948029348023940293840293840293840293840293840923840293840293402934029384029384029340239402934029348023984023948
FollowupID: 324743

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