The Man from The Snowy River movie is a drama film created in Australia in 1982. It was based on the poem written by Banjo Patterson that has the same exact title. The main cast of the movie includes Kirk Douglas who played a dual role (as twin brother who had not spoken in years), Jack Thompson who played the role of Clancy, Tom Burlinson who played the role of Jim Craig, Sigrid Thornton who played as Jessica (Harrison’s daughter), Terence Donovan played the role of Henry Craig (Jim’s father) and Chris Haywood who played a role as Curly.
The movie revolves around the main character Jim Craig who has lived comfortably in the mountains of Australia for 18 years. He used to help in his father’s farm until eventually, he passed away. Craig was then forced to go down the mountains to the low lands to earn money to be used to revive his father’s farm. Jim would then meet the twin brothers who have not spoken in years. The one was his father’s best friend and the other was the father of the woman he wants to marry. Jim would then find himself in the middle of a feud between the two.
From poem to a movie
Geoff Burrowes was one of the producers of The Man from Snowy River movie. And according to him, the idea of making the poem into a film came from a dinner party wherein someone said that the poem could be a great movie. And then it all started. Burrowes collaborated with George Miller and hired John Dixon for the screenplay.
Kirk Douglas was not the first choice
Before Kirk Douglas landed to play the role of the twin brothers, Spur and Harrison, it was Robert Mitchum and Burt Lancaster that were considered first for the roles.
They never shot at the Snowy Mountains
Although the setting of the movie had to be in the Snowy Mountains, they never filmed it in the location. In fact, the movie was filmed in the Victorian High Country located near Mansfield, Victoria. This is where the family of Burrow’s wife lived for many generations. Also, this location was logistically more accessible.
Tom Burlinson was really The Man
Burlinson was called The Man from Snowy River because of his dedication to the movie. It was him who rode the horse during a scene in which it required him to ride the horse to the side of the mountain, which was a dangerous ride. He was asked numerous times if he wanted to do the scene and he did not think twice the same with all of his stunts in the film. Remarkably, he never rode a horse before the movie and it took only one shot and no re-takes for that scene.
80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
The film was found by moviegoers as highly likeable and entertaining. And it genuinely showed its Australian roots even though there was the presence of an American star playing a main role in the movie. Along with the critical acclaim of the movie a fair degree it also got an 80% rating in Rotten Tomatoes, a film review collector.
Awards and nominations
The movie won the Australian Performing Right Association as the Best Original Music Score for their soundtrack in 1984, the Best original Musical Score award from the Australian Film Institute in 1982 and the Most Popular Film award in the Montreal World Film Festival in 1982. The movie was also nominated for Best Achievement in Sound at the 1982 AFI and Best Foreign Film in the 1983 Golden Globe awards
The film’s music as composed by Bruce Rowland who also composed the soundtrack for the sequel of the movie. It was then recognized as one of the most critically-acclaimed soundtracks in the history and in the world of motion pictures.
Box office record
The Man from Snowy River had a total gross of $17,228,160 in Australian box office and $3.5 in the US. That is equivalent to around $50 million in 2009. With that large audience who watched the movie, the story and the poem were both popularized. Since then the story of the Man from the Snowy River has been re-enacted at its very own festival in Victoria.
Selected for preservation
The movie is one of the very few chosen western movies that were selected for preservation by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Even Roger Ebert, a film critic noted that the film inspired a western movie revival in Australia.
It is nothing but amusing to watch a movie like The Man in Snowy River from time to time. And it is now made easier since it is already available in DVD