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Movie Review

The Man From Snowy River

Reviewed by: Brian Wells

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
6 to Adult
104 min.

This is a very well-made movie for adults down to older children. The scenery and music are spectacular.

The movie is set in the 1880’s in the Australian frontier with wild horses running free. The primary character is a young man named Jim Craig (played by Tom Burlinson). Primary supporting roles are by Kirk Douglas who actually plays two separate characters and Sigrid Thornton who plays the daughter the rancher (Kirk Douglas).

The story begins with a young man, Jim Craig, his father, and partner who live in the mountains where hard work is required to make a living. When Jim’s father dies in an accident, Jim must seek work elsewhere and finds a job as a helping hand for a wealthy horse/cattle rancher. Jim is met with opposition from the other helping hands; however, he continues to work hard.

Jim eventually is allowed to help with additional duties on the ranch. Over time, Jim and the rancher’s daughter begin to develop a friendship; yet, the rancher opposes the friendship. The situation becomes even more strenuous when the father tries to send his daughter off to school and startling events in the father’s past are revealed. When the rancher’s prize horse is missing from the ranch, Jim is blamed for the disappearance. The prize horse is seen running with the wild horses, and the rancher offers a large sum for the horse’s return. The story builds to a climactic chase of the wild stallions which test the character and skills of the horsemen as they race through the mountainous terrain.

The movie contains mild profanity; however, this is generally a family film with prominent themes such as hard work and honesty demonstrated throughout the movie. The acting and story line are good with exceptional scenery and musical score.

Year of Release—1980s