The Man From Snowy River (1982)

The Man From Snowy River (1982)

  • Score: 3/5
  • Genre: 3/5
  • Did I enjoy it: Mostly.
  • Did it move me: Not really.
  • Rewatch:  No plan to.
  • Art/Pop: goes the weasel (kookaburra?) .
  • Noteworthy/Significant: Nothing I can see.

There is almost a tiny sub-genre consisting of Australian Westerns, of which The Man From Snowy River would probably be considered one of the stars, but it is a very predictable and average film at best.

There is almost a tiny sub-genre consisting of Australian Westerns, of which The Man From Snowy River would probably be considered one of the stars, but it is a very predictable and average film at best.

There is no question that there some very pleasing interludes in the film, with broad classic-Western style cinematography of mountains and valleys, of cattle and horses running and fording rivers. 

Classic actor Kirk Douglas has a good time playing two brothers, bitter and divided over (what else but) a long lost love rivalry. Maybe it’s my age, as I grew up watching Michael Douglas in his glory days, but I always felt his son surpassed him. 

Sometimes, I think I may be too easy on actors, but I have known enough (albeit not big famous professionals) that I am more instinctively inclined to blame script and directing first. While there are scenes that border on homage-cheese to the classic American Westerns, which the entire film essentially is, there are a few nice character interactions, especially in the middle-end of the film. The opening is really stilted and almost awkward, and to be frank, I thought this review was going to be quite negative, but it settles into a bit of a rhythm as it gets going, and as I noted, the cinematography provides some pleasing distractions. There are one or two riding scenes showing some truly stunning stunt work.

The sound track just did not work for me most of the time, beginning with a sound cue in the first scene that was grating and reminiscent of cheap made-for-tv melodrama. One or two passages were nice in some of the later chase scenes, but overall I was not happy that I actually noticed it, as it is rare for me to negatively notice a sound track — I tend to find them either good or inoffensive. 

Unless you are hyped on exploring the touchstones of the Australian film industry, you will not miss skipping this one, but if you can make it through the first 30 minutes, it’s alright.

Review Date: 07/12/2019


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