Sunday, July 08, 2012

A missionary for The Man From Snowy River

I'm worried that the kids these days don't know about The Man From Snowy River. It would be a shame for this 1982 gem to be lost to current and future generations.

Until last month, I hadn't watched The Man From Snowy River since I was a kid. Then Jeremy brought it home from the library and we sat down with the girls for a family movie night. It was another "watching it again for the first time" moment, and it was wonderful. You guys, that movie is so awesome. It's the best kind of movie that you can watch with your kids and you're entertained and they're enthralled and all the weird, slightly freaky subplots go soaring right over their heads, creating vague memories for them to reflect on over the years until they finally watch the movie again as an adult and everything makes sense (see also: Amadeus, The Black Stallion, and Raiders of the Lost Ark). As an adult, The Man From Snowy River is this great story of growing up and becoming a man and forgiveness and redemption and a truly fabulous horse chase scene that takes up the final 20 minutes or so of the movie.

As a kid - as one of our kids, anyway - The Man From Snowy River is about wild horses ("brumbies") and ranch horses, and trying to tame the wild horses, and there's a bad guy and a good guy. And the final horse chase is pretty fabulous for the kids, too.

So if you haven't seen this movie, go watch it already. And then have your kids watch it. Keep in mind that on a first viewing, you will have to pause the movie approximately every 30 seconds to explain what's going on, but as soon as the kids settle in to the horses + good guys + bad guys motif, they're good to go. I should also mention that this movie was made in the 80s, and sometimes it shows (like in a freaky three-stage closeup of the main brumbie, which might have startled the kids a little but which had Jeremy and me laughing from the campiness). Also, there is one use of the word bull****, and also there's this one part where the dad slaps someone. But like I said, that stuff tends to sail over the heads of little ones, or if it doesn't, you just say, "Well, that's how they did it in the olden days," and that's a good enough answer.

And the music - the MUSIC. So lovely. When you're done watching the movie, go buy the soundtrack.

Have you ever seen this movie? If so, how long has it been since your last viewing? Perhaps it's time for another look.

9 comments:

Suzanne Bubnash said...

It was our family favorite in the 80s, and now it's time to show it to our grandchildren (thanks for the reminder). The teenage romance is overdone, but the scenery, the horses, and Kirk Douglas's two-role performance make this a great family movie.

Camille said...

My family watched this a lot when I was growing up. I even learned to play "Jessica's Theme" when I was taking piano lessons. It's been quite a few years since I've watched it. I think it's time to bring it out again!

robin said...

such a favorite from my childhood! oh man, when he rides down that steep hillside on his horse... you don't forget that.

and the music... the music! every pianist has to learn jessica's theme.

JosephJ said...

Yes, I've seen it as an adult, and was equally impressed. And I also chuckled about the three-stage zoom.

Family legend goes that my parents took me to the theater to watch it when I was a young child. At "the scream", I did a great job of mimicking the vocalization, and brought the entire audience to laughter. Of course I don't remember that, but I imagine if I could, I'd be mortified. :)

Thanks for the reminder!

Lindsay said...

Love, Love, Love. One of my all time favorites. How do you feel about Return to Snowy River? I may like it better, but only because I somehow managed to see it first. My kids have seen bits and pieces, but have not been able to sit through the whole movie yet.

Bridget said...

That scene is the best EVER.

Bridget said...

I know I've seen Return to Snowy River...but I have absolutely no memory of it. I'll have to track it down one of these days.

Crys said...

YES, YES, YES! I love Return to Snowy River as well. Also LOVED The Silver Brumby (Russell Crowe), Into the Wild, and the Black Stallion. Pretty much anything with accents and horses was a kid favorite for me. Watched the Silver Brumby with the kids last month. Turns out the girls also love Australians and horses. Ezra on the other hand keeps insisting they are too dangerous, want to hazard a guess as to which one he is refer to :)

Katie said...

Yes, I love this movie. I actually have two good stories to go with it. The first time I saw it as an adult was when Jerry and I had first started dating. We watched it on his laptop in his truck on a summer night under the stars. Very romantic ;) Then the summer we were all in Jordan, they did a mini Australian film festival at one of the posh hotel theaters (I don't remember which one). I haven't thought to show it to my kids, but I will get right on that. Some movies that my kids love that surprise me: Cool Runnings (they call it the bobsled movie), Back to the Future III (I think Jonah just likes it because of the train sequence at the end. He LOVES it when the train flies!) and Hello Dolly (I think it's because of the the ties to Wall-E, but it does have some awesome fun songs and dancing).

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