Here is a rattling good adventure story, inspired by a legendary poem [by A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson] which nearly every Australian had drummed into him as a child, filmed in spectacularly rugged terrain in the Great Dividing Ranges in Victoria.
Kirk Douglas plays two brothers who have had a terrible falling-out for reasons explained late in the narrative. While one brother, the wealthy autocratic landowner Harrison fits him like a glove, the actor is less believable as Spur, a gruff, grizzled, out-of-luck prospector.
Apparently, Douglas wrote or rewrote some of the dialog; hopefully not some of Spur’s groaners like ‘It’s a hard country, made for hard men’.
Tom Burlinson shines in his first feature film role as Jim, well matched by Sigrid Thornton as Harrison’s high-spirited daughter. Jack Thompson shares top billing with Douglas as Clancy, the crack horseman who becomes Jim’s mentor.