The Man from Snowy River (1982 film)

The Man from Snowy River (1982 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Man from Snowy River

caption = Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton
"The Man from Snowy River"
(Australian DVD cover)
imdb_id = 0084296
writer = Banjo Paterson (poem)
Fred Cul Cullen (story)
John Dixon (screenplay)
starring = Tom Burlinson
Sigrid Thornton
Kirk Douglas
director = George T. Miller
producer = Michael Edgley
Simon Wincer
Geoff Burrowes
music = Bruce Rowland
distributor =
released = 25 March, 1982 (Australia)
November 5, 1982 (US)
runtime = 102 min.
country = flagicon|AUS Australia
language = English
awards = AFI and
Montreal World Film Festival Award
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by = "The Man from Snowy River II" (Australian title)
"Return to Snowy River"
(USA title)
"The Untamed" (UK title)

"The Man from Snowy River" is a 1982 film made in Australia. The film was based on the Banjo Paterson poem of the same name.

The film had a cast including Tom Burlinson as "Jim Craig" (The Man), Kirk Douglas as "Harrison", the owner of a large cattle station, Sigrid Thornton as his daughter Jessica and Jack Thompson as "Clancy".

Both Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton reprised their roles for the 1988 sequel film.

The movie opens with a montage of the Snowy River country.

Awards and Nominations

* Won 1982 AFI Award for Best Original Music Score — (awarded to Bruce Rowland)
* Won 1982 Montreal World Film Festival Award for Most Popular Film — (awarded to George T. Miller)
* Nominated for 1982 AFI Award for Best Achievement in Sound
* Nominated for 1983 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film Australia


The Brumby mob is running though the night and Jim Craig and his father Henry sit in their log cabin discussing their financial situation. Their stock horse Bess starts to spook, and then the sounds of the wild horses galloping is audible. Jim convinces his father that they can catch the horses and they will be worth enough so that he and his father do not have to go off the mountain to find work.

The next day, Jim and Henry are out cutting down trees to clear land and make a holding yard. While they have a large tree attached to their gelding, the Brumbies come galloping through, Which gets the mare Bess excited (who breaks her tethers), causing Jim to let go off the gelding — this causes the chain to break on the logs and, in the process,the gelding's leg is broken. Now free, Bess gallops off and joins the mob while the log rolls back and into Henry Craig, crushing him to death.

Henry Craig is buried beside his wife, outside of their mountain home. Their sole heir is Jim, but a group of mountain men challenge his claim after the funeral. Jim immediately argues the point, reminding them that he is the owner of his father's land now. But the men are adamant. Jim is told to go down to the lowlands and earn the right to live in the mountains like his father did. Having no horse, Jim leaves and heads for a long-time friend of his called Spur, whose left leg is a wooden peg leg.

Spur makes the comment that a man is less of a man without a horse and takes Jim outside to a corral where a beautiful dun-coloured horse is being held. Spur tells Jim "I have no notion of his breeding but he's a mountain horse....He's yours." Jim replies "I can't pay you for him." and Spur says "He's not for sale". After an attempt to argue, Jim finally accepts the horse "Denny" as a gift.

The next day, Jim leaves the high country for work , after talking to a man about Harrison's colt out of old "Regret" (a colt worth a thousand pounds).

When Jim arrives at Harrison's station to work, he has a run-in with Curly, in the barn, when Curly throws down a lit match into the hay, which Jim promptly puts out. Curly then gets angry when some manure lands on his boot.

When it comes time to bring his cattle down from the mountains, Harrison calls in his old friend Clancy. When Jim hears of this, he mentions to Curly and the others that Clancy and his father were mates and immediately gets laughed at and called a liar — however, the men have to eat their words when Clancy arrives at the cattle station and hands his horse's reins to Jim, offering his sympathy at the death of Jim's father Henry: "He was a good mate." Jim, however, is not allowed to join the other men on the muster, having offended Harrison when he voiced his opinion that the mountains can never be tamed, contradictory to Harrison's desires and beliefs.

While Harrison and the others are gone, Jessica, who is a very strong, independent young woman (much to her father's chagrin), enlists the help of Jim to break-in the colt themselves. The pair is successful. However, just before Harrison and the others are due back to the station, the Brumbies gallop near the station, exciting all the horses there, and on an impulse Jim (seeing Bess) decides to give chase on Harrison's valuable colt. Jim falls from the young colt when it refuses a fence, and then is trampled by the mob. Lying on the ground in pain, Jim slowly rolls over in enough time to be attacked by the leader of the Brumby mob, known as "The Stallion".

Later, when Jim awakens, Jessica tells him that her father isn't going to find out the truth of the incident and that he's going to be told a different story about what happened. Jim says that he's not going to lie to Harrison and if that means losing his job then that's what happens, also Jim was not fond of the idea of having women cover for him. However, before Harrison can be told anything at all, he tells Jim there are strays out there and that he wants him to go and bring them back. Jim leaves and soon finds the strays. While he's gone, Harrison finds the colt has signs of being ridden. When he asks Jessica about it, he finds out the truth and learns about the Brumby incident. Furious that Jim put the expensive colt in danger, he tells Jessica that when Jim gets back he's fired, and that she is going to be sent off to boarding school, telling her in anger, "You're as deceitful as your mother!", in addition to slapping her. This infuriates Jessica so much that she gets on her horse and gallops away.

Once in the mountains, Jessica is caught in a storm. Her horse, spooked, runs from her, and she falls over the edge of a cliff. However, she lands on an ledge and is knocked unconscious. The next morning, she wakes up and discovers to her horror that she is sitting dangerously close to the edge of a fatal drop.

Jim discovers Jessica's horse, dead, some distance away. He immediately begins to search for her. Once he finds her, he lowers his stockwhip to her and pulls her to safety. It's during this time the two realize they have fallen in love, but that her father will never approve of a relationship between them. Jim then takes Jessica to Spur, where it is revealed to Jessica, that Spur and Harrison are in fact estranged brothers.

Jim leaves Jessica in Spur's care so he can take the stray cattle back to Harrison's station. Jessica tells Jim that her father knows about the colt and the incident with the Brumbies, that he's going to be fired — but he tells her that he was given a job and that he was going to finish it. He leaves, returning the cattle to their owner. Jessica stays with Spur, and after supper Spur takes her home, arriving before Jim and Harrison.

Harrison, when he returns from searching for Jessica, while grateful to Jim for saving her, soon becomes angry again when he learns of Jim's feelings for his daughter. He accuses Jim of not being capable of giving Jessica the life she deserves, and orders him off the property. When Jim returns to the bunk house to gather his things, he and a drunken Curly get into a fight. After Jim has left, a bitter and jealous Curly and his friend set the colt from Old Regret loose. They intend for Harrison to believe Jim is responsible, and that the colt was set free in retaliation to his being fired.

While Spur is at the station, it's learned that Harrison hates his brother because they were competing for the affections of a woman named Matilda, Jessica's mother. At one time, Harrison threatens Spur with "Get out of here or I'll..." to which Spur says "You'll what...blow off the other one?" slapping his leg indicating that it was Harrison that was the responsible for Spur losing his leg.

Later, Jim and Spur are sitting by a fire talking when they are joined by Clancy, who tells them that someone let the colt loose and that Jim was being blamed for it. At first, Jim refuses to return to the station, bitter about Harrison's disdain for him. Clancy, however, appeals to Jim's pride and sense of justice. The best means of proving he wasn't responsible, Clancy believes, is by joining the men who will gather the next morning to run the mob down and retrieve the colt. Jim at first maintains that helping Harrison after suffering so many insults is too much to ask of a man. Spur and Clancy cleverly tease Jim about whether or not he's really a man, with Clancy claiming Harrison probably wouldn't let him ride anyway. Realizing that the only way to prove himself a man is to go on the muster, Jim agrees to join Clancy in riding for Harrison's the next day.

Harrison is none too happy to see Jim on his property, and orders him removed. Clancy steps in, saying that Jim and his horse are from the mountains and know them better than any of the other riders there. This silences Harrison's protests, and the chase is on. It ends for most of the group when the mob leaps off a steep hill and gallops down it. Even Clancy doesn't dare give chase, but Jim, showing the mettle of a mountain man and the quality of his mountain horse, plunges down the incline without pause. He and Denny successfully negotiate the treacherous descent, and are later spotted by Harrison's group, still chasing the Brumbies. Then, Jim succeeds in what even Clancy was unable to manage. He heads off the mob and stares down the old stallion. To everyone's amazement, he drives the entire mob back to Harrison's station on his own.

Harrison offers Jim the money he promised to anyone who could bring the colt safely home, but Jim retorts that it's not the reason he rode, a reference to both his need to clear his name and to his intentions to prove his maturity. He tells Harrison that he'll be back to claim the horses in the mob, and whatever else is his (looking at Jessica). To this, Harrison shouts "You've got a long way to go yet lad.". Spur interrupts him, saying "He's not a lad, brother...he's a MAN.". Then, as Jim tips his hat to Jessica and rides off, Clancy calls him "The Man from Snowy River."

Jim rides up to his home in the Snowy River region, knowing that he has earned his right to live there.

Dangerous ride

Tom Burlinson has confirmed that it was definitely he who rode the horse over the side of the mountain for the 'terrible descent' during the dangerous ride — commenting that he had been asked about this numerous times, and that he became known as "The Man from Snowy River" because of his ride ["How The Hell Did We Get Here? — The Baby Boomers Guide To The Movies"] .


Bruce Rowland composed the music for the 1982 version, a soundtrack that became one of the most critically acclaimed in the history of motion pictures. He also composed the music for the 1988 sequel film.

::NBC Sports uses some of the exact music from the soundtrack for their coverage of The Players Championship.

2000 Summer Olympics — Bruce Rowland composed a special Olympics version of "The Man from Snowy River" "Main Title" for the Olympic Games, which were held in Sydney. The CD of the music for the Sydney Olympics includes the Bruce Rowland's special Olympic version of "The Man from Snowy River".

— Bruce Rowland composed special arrangements of some of the 1982 film soundtrack music for the 2002 musical version of "The Man from Snowy River".

Loss of the Craig's Hut

The Craigs' Hut building was a permanent fixture created for the film. Located in Clear Hills, east of Mount Stirling, Victoria, the popular 4WD and hiking landmark was destroyed on 11 December 2006 in bushfires [ [ Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 2006, "Bushfires ravage iconic Craig's Hut"] ] .


ee also

* The Man from Snowy River (poem)
* The Man from Snowy River II — the 1988 sequel film
— (Australian title: "The Man from Snowy River II")
— (American title: "Return to Snowy River")
— (British title: "The Untamed")
* The Man from Snowy River (TV series)
— (Australian title: "The Man from Snowy River")
— (American title: "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga")
* "The Man from Snowy River (1920 film)" - a silent film based on the same poem
*List of films based on poems
* Snowy River

External links

* [;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A6988;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 The Man from Snowy River at the National Film and Sound Archive]
* [ Official Tom Burlinson Website]

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