Saturday, May 29, 2021

#2,575. The Man From Snowy River (1982) - The Films of Kirk Douglas


Despite the presence of star Kirk Douglas (who plays the dual roles of feuding brothers), 1982’s The Man from Snowy River is, at its core, an Australian western adventure. And it’s a damn good one, too.

Following the tragic death of his father (Terence Donovan), young Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson) leaves his picturesque mountain homestead to take a job with Harrison (Douglas), a millionaire cattle rancher.

Jim eventually falls in love with Harrison’s daughter Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), but Harrison, who dislikes mountain folk, has no intention of allowing their romance to blossom.

At times a rousing adventure (especially the scenes featuring a herd of runaway horses, which stirs up trouble everywhere it goes), The Man from Snowy River is also beautifully shot (Director of Photography Keith Wagstaff captures the landscapes of Victoria, Australia, in a way that would make the state’s travel bureau proud).

Burlinson and Thornton do a fine job as the young lovers (they would reprise their roles in Disney’s 1988 sequel, the aptly titled The Man from Snowy River II), while Douglas (not even attempting an Australian accent) is equally good as both the stern-and-serious Harrison and his brother, Spur, the down-to-earth gold prospector who befriends Jim.

Story-wise, it isn’t anything special (the above synopsis already told you that), but the film features enough fun and adventure to ensure your trip to Snowy River will be a rewarding one.
Rating: 8 out of 10

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