The Man from Snowy River (1920 film)

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The Man from Snowy River
The Man from Snowy River poster.jpg
Original advertisement
Directed by Beaumont Smith
John K Wells
Produced by Beaumont Smith
Written by Beaumont Smith
Based on poem by Banjo Paterson
Starring Cyril Mackay
Stella Southern
Tal Ordell
Hedda Barr
John Cosgrove
Cinematography Lacey Percival
Al Burne
Production
company
Beaumont Smith's Productions
Release date
28 August 1920[1][2]
Running time
5,500 feet
Country Australia
Language English

The Man from Snowy River is a 1920 film made in Australia. The film was silent and filmed in black and white, and was based on the Banjo Paterson poem of the same name.[3] It is considered a lost film.

Plot[edit]

A country boy, Jim Conroy, is living a dissolute life in the city, running around with vamp Helen Ross. When his father cuts him off, he is dumped by Helen and returns to the bush.

Jim works for a corrupt squatter, Stingey Smith, and falls in love with Kitty Carewe, daughter of John Carewe, the squatter next door. John is impressed with Jim's skill with a horse and invites him to train his finest horse, "Swagman", hoping to win enough prize money to save his farm.

A jealous farm hand plots with Smith to fix the race so that the latter can take over the Carewe farm, letting "Swagman" go and run with the brumbies. However Jim rescues the horse and rides it to victory.

Smith frames Jim for theft but he is proved innocent and Jim marries Kitty.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Beaumont Smith bought the film rights to all the works of Banjo Paterson and spent two years writing a script. He incorporated characters from various Paterson works, including squatter's daughter, Kitty Carewe, and swagman, Saltbush Bill. The character of Helen Ross, however, was Smith's original invention.[4] Smith later claimed the price of the film rights was the highest ever that had been paid in Australian cinema, with the exception of The Sentimental Bloke (1919).[5]

In 1919 he announced he would make the film in Hollywood, as an attempt to break into the US market. He left in November 1919 but returned to Sydney within six months, bringing back with him a documentary about Hollywood, A Journey through Filmland, which he released in Sydney in February 1921.[6]

Smith used American talent available in Australia, including John K. Wells, who was assisting Wilfred Lucas on the Snowy Baker movies, and visiting actress Hedda Barr. At one stage it was announced Snowy Baker would star but this did not eventuate.[7] The movie also marks the film debut of movie star Stella Southern, who was working as a shop girl when discovered by Smith; he gave her the name for this film.[8]

Shooting began in mid 1920 on location at Mulgoa, Wallacia and Luddenham in the Blue Mountains.[9] In order to obtain footage for the climactic race, Smith held a race day and invited horsemen from the local area to participate in four races at Luddenham.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Advertising.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 23 August 1920. p. 2. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Ross Cooper,"Filmography: Beaumont Smith", Cinema Papers, March–April 1976 p333
  3. ^ ""THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER" AT WEST'S.". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 17 November 1920. p. 8. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  4. ^ ""THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER" AT WEST'S.". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 17 November 1920. p. 8. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  5. ^ ""THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.".". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 15 November 1920. p. 9. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 99.
  7. ^ "[?] RECREATION.". The Worker. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 13 February 1919. p. 12. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "THE WORLD OF PICTURES.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 28 August 1920. p. 12. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "W. C. WILLIAMSON'S "SO-AND-SO'S.".". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 November 1920. p. 7. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  10. ^ ""THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.".". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 November 1920. p. 11. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  • "The Dictionary of Performing Arts in Australia — Theatre . Film . Radio . Television — Volume 1" — Ann Atkinson, Linsay Knight, Margaret McPhee — Allen & Unwin Pty. Ltd., 1996

External links[edit]