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The Man From Snowy River

The Man From Snowy River is a poem by Australian bush poet[?] Banjo Patterson. It was first published in The Bulletin[?], an Australian news magazine, in April 1890.

The poem tells the story of a horseback pursuit to recapture a prizewinning racehorse that escaped from its paddock and is living wild with the "brumbies" (wild horses) of the mountain ranges. Eventually the brumbies descend a seemingly impassably steep slope, at which point the assembled riders give up the pursuit, except the young hero, who spurs his pony down the "terrible descent" to catch the mob.

The poem inspired two movies, a 1920 silent version and a well-known 1982 version with a cast including Tom Burlinson[?], Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson[?] and Sigrid Thornton[?], which fleshes out the story to identify the young hero as a worker on a nearby squatter's property and includes a romance with the squatter's daughter played by Thornton.

A 1988 sequel, Return to Snowy River, departed even further from the original poem. A television series extremely loosely based on the concept was also produced in the 1990s.

The Snowy River[?] is indeed a real river, with its headwaters in the highest section of the Great Dividing Range near the easternmost part of the border between New South Wales and Victoria. Corryong, a small town on the western side of the range, claims stockman Jack Riley[?] as the inspiration for the character, and like many other towns in the region uses the image of the character as part of the marketing to tourists.

Links:

  • Text of the poem (http://www.uq.edu.au/~mlwham/banjo/the_man_from_snowy_river)



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