The Man from Snowy River

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In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig’s father dies, he takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.

ACTORS : Tom Burlinson, Terence Donovan, Kirk Douglas, Tommy Dysart

YEAR OF RELEASE : 1982

(Manufactured On Demand , Region 0.) This DVD will play in DVD players worldwide

POSTAGE : Free In Australia. Rest Of The World at Table Rate

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Storyline

The Man from Snowy River, Jim Craig has lived his first 18 years in the mountains of Australia on his father’s farm. The death of his father forces him to go to the low lands to earn enough money to get the farm back on its feet. Kirk Douglas plays two roles as twin brothers who haven’t spoken for years, one of whom was Jim’s father’s best friend and the other of whom is the father of the girl he wants to marry. A 20 year old feud re-erupts, catching Jim and Jessica in the middle of it as Jim is accused of letting a prize stallion loose.

One Of The All-Time Great Westerns, To Use The Term Loosely

The Man from Snowy River, Calling this a western…well, it is and it ain’t. Some say the Wild West ended when the last famous outlaw Harry Tracy ended his career a little over a century ago, his Boot Hill being in a field about 50 miles west of Spokane, Washington. This movie takes place in Australia, which true enough, is some 8,000 miles west of the Mississippi, but it’s also in the Far East part of the Eastern Hemisphere. And it’s not your typical shoot-em-up either. There are no bank-robbing bandits, no gunfights on Main Street, no cavalry fighting the natives. But you’ll find here a great coming-of-age romantic tale, with some stirring action sequences never seen before on film, all in the midst of some gorgeous location footage of the Snowy Mountains, which John Ford would have envied for his western films. This area of Australia, if one superimposed the map of the continental U.S. over Australia, would place the Snowy River country in about the same place as our Florida Everglades and not too far from where the Smoky Mountains begin in Georgia. Besides similar sounding names (Snowy-Smoky) this highest part of Australia contains its highest peak with an altitude very nearly the same as the Smokys’ highest one in Tennessee, and a landscape that could pass for the southern part of the Appalachian chain as mentioned. Despite recent droughts and wildfires Down Under, the Snowy Mountains have changed little since Banjo Paterson wrote the poem on which this film is based and the equally memorable “Waltzing Matilda,” unofficial national anthem of that nation, in the 1890s. Paterson, by the way, is such a famous person even today, that his face appears on the Aussie 10-dollar bill. In contrast, the American sawbuck only has a guy whose greatest fame was getting shot in a duel. Sad to say, this film never did as well at the U.S. box office as other Aussie films like the Mad Max trilogy, which launched Mel Gibson to super stardom, and the even bigger moneymaking franchise of the Crocodile Dundee films. TMFSR never rated a single Oscar nomination (not surprising for a non-Hollywood film), but amazingly enough only won a single AFI award (the Australian Oscar) for its musical score. The Golden Globes, however, gave it a Best Foreign Film nomination, won that year by GANDHI. Since its release, though, audiences worldwide have fallen in love with this gem of a movie, as did the folks at the Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church where we saw it last weekend. While not a true Western per se, it contains the same Judeo-Christian values that the best classic Hollywood westerns espouse. These values were embodied in the Code of the West, a liberal interpretation of the Ten Commandments: Always fight fair, protect women and children, respect others’ property, and honor God and country. If you’ve never seen this movie, you’re in for a treat when you do. If you’ve seen it before, it’s worth watching again. Movies as good as this are a rare find.

Papillion

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