Released in 1982 by 20th Century Fox, The Man from Snowy River has become one of the most beloved horse films. With stunning cinematography and incredible acting performances, it became a critically acclaimed film.
After Jim Craig’s father dies in an accident, he is forced to leave his home and look for work. Now alone in the world, young Craig must face the challenges of the world, including proving himself.
With romance, horses, triumph, and one of the most iconic horseback riding scenes in cinematic history, The Man from Snowy River has become a classic.
Here are eight facts about The Man from Snowy River.
1. Despite Being a Novice Horse Rider, Tom Burlinson Did Most of His Own Riding Stunts
Prior to being cast as Jim Craig in The Man from Snowy River, Tom Burlinson did not know how to ride horses. He had just a few short weeks before filming to learn to ride and fortunately, he picked it up naturally.
Horse master for the film Charlie Lovick was the one who taught Burlinson how to ride on his buckskin horse. This is the same horse Burlinson rode in the movie and he even did many of his own riding shots. In fact, Burlinson even did all the profile shots for the famous downhill ride scene.
Burlinson took an affinity to horses and even starred in other horse films. He played horse trainer Tommy Woodcock in the 1983 film Phar Lap, which is included in our best horse movies list. He also revised his role for The Man from Snowy River sequel.
2. The Man from Snowy River is Also a Poem
Before the movie, there was the poem “The Man from Snowy River” which helped provide inspiration for the film. It was written by Australian bush poet Banjo Paterson and was first published on April 26, 1890, in the Bulletin.
The poem tells the tale of an epic horseback pursuit to recapture a colt of a prizewinning racehorse. After escaping from his paddock, the colt went off to live with the brumbies of the mountain ranges.
After the brumbies travel into a seemingly impassable steep slope, the group of riders gives up on their pursuit to catch the colt. However, the young protagonist bravely rides his pony down the terrible descent and ultimately catches the mob.
Also Read: 10 Native Australian Horse Breeds
3. It is a Part of Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Kodak/Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project
After having an incredibly successful box office release, The Man from Snowy River received the honor of becoming part of Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Kodak/Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project. It is just one of 50 films to receive such a high honor.
4. It Won Multiple Awards
The Man from Snowy River made a whopping $50 million at the box office worldwide and at the time it was one of the highest-grossing films in Australia. It quickly became an audience favorite and a must-see all over.
The movie gained recognition and brought home several big awards. It won the 1982 AFI Award for Best Original Music Score, the 1982 Montreal World Film Festival Award for Most Popular Film, and also the 1984 APRA Award for Best Original Music Score.
5. The Movie Was Not Filmed in the Snowy Mountains
Despite taking place in the Snowy Mountain, which is located in Southern New Wales, Australia, filming of the movie took place elsewhere. Instead, the fleming took place in the Victorian High Country near Mansfield, Victoria.
The film’s producer Geoff Burrowes’ wife’s family had lived in the area for several generations, which made the logistics of filming easier.
6. Disney Released a Sequel, Return to Snowy River
In 1988, Disney released a sequel to the film called Return to Snowy River. At first called The Man From Snowy River II, the film follows Jim Craig as he returns to his home in the Australian high country.
7. Charlie Lovick, the Horse Master for the Movie, Also Rescues and Rehomes Ex-Racehorses
Charlie Lovick served as the horse master for both of the Snowy River movies. He is a fifth-generation rancher that lives in Victoria, Australia.
In addition to working as a rancher and on films, Lovick also retrains and rehomes ex-racehorses. He is hoping to help over 200 Thoroughbreds find a new career through the program at his ranch.
“It could be one of a dozen different disciplines; from pony club to show-jumping to trail riding, or just being the family hack around the farm to go round up the cows … we’ve got to find plenty of places to put these horses so it’s not just one area,” said Lovick.
8. The Theme Song from The Man from Snowy River was Played at the 2000 Olympic Games
At the opening ceremony for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, the theme song from The Man from Snowy River movie played as Australian Stock Horses came in.
At the ceremony, 121 Australian Stock Horses were ridden in, performing carefully choreographed maneuvers to composer Bruce Rowland’s theme.