Friday, August 5, 2016

"Well sir, I think you might sooner hold back the tide than tame the mountains."

I remember hearing my daddy talk about this movie years ago, once when we we were at dinner with some of the far-away cousins. The conversation turned to movies, and Daddy brought up The Man From Snowy River, remembering the famous scene where Jim Craig rides his horse down the mountain after the brumbies. I listened, interested, and wondered why I'd never seen this before. I was probably about fourteen when I watched it first. Then, it was a 'meh' movie, with a slow storyline and sappy love story (and can we talk about the dorky 80's soundtrack?) My daddy went on and on about what a classic it was... Mama rolled her eyes...I just thought it was boring.

It wasn't until a really super awesome person by the name of Rachel gave me a copy and I watched it a second time that I realized, at fourteen, I had a lot to learn.

      Because The Man From Snowy River IS a classic. (Can't you just tell that by the title? And for heavens' sake, the dreamy silhouetted picture on the cover????) It's a beautiful cinematic masterpiece that everybody ought to see when they're a kid, and if you didn't, then you should see it now asap because it's just plain gorgeous.

Set in the Australian outback, the story follows young Jim Craig as he leaves his home in the mountains and goes to work for a wealthy cattle baron, falls in love with said cattle baron's daughter, and goes from being a 'lad' to being 'the man from snowy river.'

The man from Snowy river. Classic:

Jim Craig is an absolute angel-faced darling. He's more than a pretty face too; he's honest and kind and he's got guts. It is plainly impossible not to love Jim. (Plus he's got a pretty nice hat.)


Kirk Douglas plays a double role -- Jim's quirky one-legged mountain friend, Spur, who's been picking away at the same old decrepit gold mine for eons; and Spur's twin brother, Mr. Harrison, the wealthy rancher Jim goes to work for. Spur is a jokester and an optimist; Mr. Harrison is stern and obstinate. I'd rather have Spur over for dinner.

the most awkward moment between these two? Quite possibly.  - The Man From Snowy River:

I'm actually not a huge fan of Jessica. She kind of annoys me. Maybe part of it is her over-abundant eyeliner? The only reason I like her at all is because Jim likes her, so there's gotta be something special about her. Their romance is very sweet, though, and one of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Jim is trying to teach her how to tie a halter and she's not getting it. And the way Jim says "Chessica" in his Aussie accent....oh, Jim, you're so adorable.

One of my favorites is Clancy, Jim's father's old 'mate' who comes to help Harrison's men track down the lost horse. Clancy's a delightfully salty, wholesome red-headed character with a reputation as legendary as the mountains. He also delivers the line at the end of the movie that always causes me to shriek and bury my head in a pile of pillows just because IT'S SO GOOD:

Spur: "He's not a lad. He's a man. He's a man!"

Every character is unique in their own right. There's nothing false about them -- that's another reason I love this movie. It's humble and everybody's completely genuine. Another great character I feel deserves more credit is Harrison's foreman at the ranch. I would love to tell you his name but I can't remember it....(Cain, maybe? Is it Cain?) Whatever his name is, I LOVE this guy. Besides the fact that he has a deep, grovelly voice and wears a drool-worthy black duster coat, he really demonstrates a strength of character even though he's not a prominent part of the story. He's a tough guy who knows his business and does his duty. I'd hire him for my foreman any day.

I'm not sure where this movie would be without the music. Like I said, the story itself is not that deep...I've grown to appreciate it and I'm extremely fond of it, but usually I like a little more grit and action in a western. But the MUSIC (which does have a distinctly 80's sound, but is nevertheless beautiful) heightens everything. Especially in the scenes where Jim & Jessica are riding over the mountains, the music and the scenery put together are completely breathtaking. You feel like you're there, up on that mountain so high you could stroke the sky if you reached for it...I'm getting shivers just thinking about it!

The Man from Snowy River. LILILILILILILI!!!   I have loved this movie forever and will always love it forever.!!!:

So it's a little melodramatic...sappy, even, yes. (You know it is.) There's not a whole lot of meat. As far as westerns go, it's mild. No gunfights, no saloon brawls. BUT what there is is heart, and lots of it. There are sweet moments and sad moments and the feels are there. The scene where Jim rides his horse down that rocky slope is EVERYTHING they say it is. It's a solid story, good acting, and it's got a cozy feel to it, the kind of movie you'd want to cozy up with on a chill Autumn night with a couple of sisters and a bowl of popcorn. If you like it, you really like it, and you won't tire of watching it over and over again because the fact is, it's just as good every time.


  1. AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! I could sit here and talk about this movie for hours!!! Yes it is sappy and cheesy, but it is a classic and I love it! Sadly I haven't been able to watch it for about 2 years because Netflix took it down. :(

  2. This film is one of my most favourite things ever.. we're doing it in uni as it's 'Classic Australian Literature and film" (we have do to set courses if we want to do Education after) and I couldn't be more thrilled. :D Great review!

    I ADORE the music, we got to play it in my final concert with my local symphony orchestra before I left them ...(all the EMOTIONS!)
    Did you know that little fast intro bit is us Violas? :DDD

    Also I agree the way he says Jessica is so sweet.. I melted and I'm Australian!

    I agree everyone this is a classic and please watch it! I have to go make breakfast now :-D
    *tips akubra*

  3. Oh and an akubra is what we call our country hats :D

    1. and according to mum (as she and dad lived in the outback for a bit) each state has different hats.. my state's is different to Jim's hat

  4. I've never seen this movie before, but I've often seen screencaps from it, and for some reason, they always make me feel happy :-) I guess they just look RIGHT, if you know what I mean? Peaceful and simple and classic-Western-ish, and with a very nice color scheme. I like all the brown and blue, especially, because those are two of my favorite colors . . .

  5. There is a reason thus has been my favorite movie since I was 2. Like you said, it's sappy and light, but so heartfelt. Can't love it enough.

    BTW, I can't do much internet stuff right now, so can i trust you to add my 3 posts to your roster without me giving you direct links?

    I will catch up on all posts in a few days when I'm home!

    1. Hamlette, I KNOW the feeling. :-) And yes, I'll do that for ya. Hope you have a good time on your trip!


    Basically, YES to all of the above. :D (And Jim is SUCH a darling. *pats him on the head*)

    I grew up watching this. Tis a good ol' Aussie movie. ;D

    ~Miss Meg

  7. This is one of those movies I just have to see sometime... I mean, I've heard about the 80's soundtrack. And the sappiness. And it's nevertheless classic status. So it's definitely one of those bucket list things. :)

    Funny story: I DID actually play a piano version of the theme song for my cousin's wedding six years ago. She had her bridesmaids walk in with it, so (as I hadn't watched it) I listened to an mp3 of that quite a few times to try and get the sound. ;) I had to have them practice a couple of times at the rehearsal, but in the end the repeats still just weren't going to end it right. So -- driving from the church to the rehearsal dinner -- I sat in the back of my grandparents car and counted up the number of measures I thought would be right, then mentally cut the right number of repeats. I had to get up super early before the wedding and there wasn't time for me even to solo practice my *fix*, so I just got up at the wedding and winged it... and it worked!! WHEW. Big relief that! ;D

  8. Aww! Well, this looks sweet! I've seen parts of a TV show of the same name, but I think it's a different storyline? Anyway, I'll have to try this sometime :) That last collage was BEAUTIMOUS.

    (And Jessica's eyeliner IS too intense. This is true.)


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