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Australia 1983
Directed by
Bill Hughes
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

High Country

The only feature film from television director and producer, Bill Hughes, High Country trades on the classic Australian country life ethos of The Man from Snowy River which came out the previous year. The setting, Victoria’s High Country, is the same and horses, moleskin pants, Akubras and R.M.Williams boots are once again to the fore.

John Waters plays Ben Lomax, a cattleman whose beloved horse has been leased by a villainous local businessman, Frank Stacey (Tom Oliver). Lomax returns to town after he hears that Stacey is going to race the horse even though it will be permanently crippled as a result  In so doing he has to face his troubled past and his fractured relationship with his thirteen year old daughter (Simone Buchanan).

The narrative arc and characterizations within its broad theme of personal redemption are familiar enough with a bleached-haired, motorcycle-riding young hottie (Terry Serio) worked in to broaden its appeal which is very much of the family telemovie territory of the day. Although unsubtle in every respect, within its populist parameters it is adequate enough and the spectacular setting of the Merrijig region of the Snowy Mountains considerably mollifies the otherwise heavy hand of the film.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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