the brumbies ride again

I was lucky enough (or maybe from Will’s perspective, unlucky enough) to catch the second half of what was maybe my favorite movie as a kid, “The Man from Snowy River” on amc the other night.

I still love this movie.  I still get excited when Jim takes off over the cliff in pursuit of the wild horse mob.  I still smile when Clancy mutters at the end, “The man from Snowy River.”  Even Will grudgingly admitted that the music in the movie is stirring and the Australian scenery makes you want to book a ticket on Qantas posthaste.

What I love best about this movie is not Kirk Douglas’s interloping presence but is its relatively simple plot that picks up on major themes in storytelling–being orphaned, living honorably, old love triangles, the snooty daughter, becoming a “man” (whatever that really means), riding horses…  OK, so that last one is hardly a universal theme, and it probably held more allure for me as an 8 year old girl, but it is still breathtaking to watch the Brumby mob streak across the open fields with the pristine mountains in the background.

Apparently the movie is based on an 1890 Banjo Paterson (think “Waltzing Matilda”) poem that is usefully also titled, “The Man from Snowy River,” and the movie does a reasonable job of honoring the poem.  None of this makes me particularly want to delve into more of  Mr. Paterson’s poetry or go ride a horse for that matter, but I was so happy to watch this bit of my childhood–an overall quiet, beautiful, and inoffensive movie.

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