The hit film of Banjo Paterson's poem

BY ADAM BLACKSHAW

The Man From Snowy River was a huge hit in Australia – the highest-grossing film until Crocodile Dundee (1986) was released a few years later. The unapologetic nostalgia, stirring action and breathtaking cinematography also struck a chord with international audiences, including America.

Based on Banjo Paterson’s poem, published in The Bulletin in 1890, the film tells the story of a reward offered for recapturing the colt of a prize-winning racehorse that has escaped from its paddock and is living with the brumbies in the Australian High Country of Victoria.

While being pursued, the brumbies descend a dangerous cliff, at which point the assembled riders give up the chase. However, in the climactic moment of the story, the young hero (played by Tom Burlinson in his film debut) spurs his horse down the 'terrible descent' and catches the mob:

While the film stays largely true to the poem, it adds a romance between the young stars, played by Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton. Rounding out the cast are Jack Thompson and American acting legend Kirk Douglas, in two roles.

Our collection includes clips, images and posters from the film; an extensive interview with the cast on The Mike Walsh Show in 1982; on-set reports of the making of the film; and a clip from an audio interview with producer Geoff Burrowes and director George Miller.

 

Explore The Man From Snowy River curated collection.