Set in the summer of 1910 in Australia the film follows the story of 14 year old Alan Marshall (Alexander Outhread) as he stumbles out of childhood towards the exciting yet forbidding world of adulthood. For Alan, despite the effects of polio, there is only one passion in life - to become a great horseman just like his hero, the reclusive horse trainer East Driscoll (Russell Crowe). Alan is one of East's few friends and also one of the few who knows about the affair between East and the aristocratic English woman Grace McAlister (Charlotte Rampling). Things inevitably take a turn towards the tragic when East becomes determined to force Grace to leave her husband and run away with him. Hammers Over The Anvil is an evocative coming of age film from Australian director Ann Turner.