Australia in the 1850s. Irishman Daniel Morgan (Dennis Hopper), like hundreds of other ex-patriots from the British Isles, has come to seek his fortune. There is a gold rush going on, and Morgan wants to strike it rich.
As fate would have it, Morgan soon finds himself on the other side of the law, broke and desperate, and a single act of highway robbery gets him 12 years of hard labour.
While in prison, he is systematically abused and, upon his release, Morgan vows revenge on those who wronged him.
With the help of an aborigine named Billy (David Gulpilil) and a growing legend of audacity, Morgan soon becomes a hero. The locals love him, while the wealthy and powerful fear his influence. They want this outlaw “bushranger” dead or alive and will stop at nothing to see that their sense of justice is done.
But Morgan only wants those to pay for the crimes they have committed, to recognise that he wasn’t always a bushranger, and that it was society that turned him.
The film is based on the real-life exploits of John Fuller, a criminal who operated under aliases including “Daniel Morgan” in mid-19th-century Australia.
Daniel ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan