MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, THE : DVD
An ambitious rancher (Kirk Douglas) sets his sights on the hills of the awesome Snowy River country. Buried somewhere in that pristine wilderness, protected by treacherous terrain and bands of wild, stampeding horses, is a fortune in unmined gold. Before the rancher can stake his claim, however, his world is turned upside down when a cowboy, Jim (Tom Burlinson) steals his daughter's Jessica (Sigrid Thornton) heart and uncovers a secret in those hills more precious than any treasure.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This was the Most Popular Film at the Montreal film festival in 1982, and won the AFI Award for Best Music Score for composer Bruce Rowland, with a nomination for Keith Wagstaff's cinematography. And that just about sums it up: it plays well for audiences (Australians regard it especially highly), it's beautifully shot and the music is great. And if horses could win awards, they would have won some too. And that's not just for some of the most thrilling horse chase sequences ever shot in Australia.
The film is based on a much loved epic poem by Australia's famous bush balladeer, Banjo Patterson, but if you take the story apart, it could be the recipe for many a Western. Which it sort of is, with a love story attached, and revolving around a legendary horse, Old Regret, and her last, untameable colt.
And it's a distinguished cast, notably Sigrid Thornton as the young woman who falls for Jim (Tom Burlinson); Chris Haywood in fine cheeky form as Curly, Lorraine Bayly as Jessica's aunt Rosemary and Jack Thompson as the famous, legendary horseman, Clancy, star of the poem.
Roger Ford's marvellous design for the film makes good use of the spectacular locations, blending into the land - and the land includes treacherous bush, rugged high country and rolling hills, almost everything Australia has to offer - while Robin Hall's costumes are brilliant.
The combination of its elements touches the Australian heart, elevating the ethos of a big, wonderful land and its hard headed, big hearted people on the screen. It is one of those films which can truly claim to be 'telling our stories' to its people, and has been embraced for it. Like Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008), this film gathers up some of the icons of an Australia that is fast disappearing, including some of the characteristics - including the dry humour - that forged the nation.
Published December 18, 2008
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MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, THE : DVD (PG)
CAST: Tom Burlinson, Sigrid Thornton, Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson, Terence Donovan, Tony Bonner, Lorraine Bayly, Gus Mercurio, Bruce Kerr, David Bradshaw, Tony Bonner, June Jago, Chris Haywood
PRODUCER: Geoff Burrowes
DIRECTOR: George Miller
SCRIPT: Fred Cul Cullen, John Dixon (poem by Banjo Patterson)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Keith Wagstaff
EDITOR: Adrian Carr
MUSIC: Bruce Rowland
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robin Hall
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1; DTS 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1; The Man From Snowy River - The Poem, read by Frankie Holden; The Music - Jessica's Theme, Mountain Theme, The Ride; The Producer - Geoff Burrowes reminisces; alternate version of The Poem; photo Gallery
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
DVD RELEASE: April 8, 2004