The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 979 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 11 critic

The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner.



(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is... See full summary »

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Charles McCallum, John Frawley, Arthur Dignam
Newsfront (1978)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In post war Australia the men and women of Cinetone struggle to produce the weekly news reels for the movie going public.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Bill Hunter, Gerard Kennedy, Wendy Hughes
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes
Don's Party (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The movie Dons Party is about a wild house party in a suburban Australian neighbourhood. Don Henderson convinces his wife to have another party so that their friends can gather to watch the... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: John Hargreaves, Pat Bishop, Graham Kennedy
The Last Wave (1977)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil
Lucía (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Traces episodes in the lives of three Cuban women, each named Lucía, from three different historical periods: the Cuban war of independence (with Spain), the 1930's, and the 1960's.

Director: Humberto Solás
Stars: Raquel Revuelta, Eslinda Núñez, Adela Legrá
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Anna Magnani, Odoardo Spadaro, Nada Fiorelli
Libido (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: David Baker, Tim Burstall, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Elke Neidhart, Bryon Williams, Mark Albiston
Ceddo (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap ... See full summary »

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory.

Director: Ken Hannam
Stars: Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, Robert Bruning
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This film follows an antisocial working-class husband and father struggling to find work in the Midwest. As the film progresses, it seems that he has little actual interest in supporting ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Jost
Stars: Tom Blair, Wayne Crouse, Jessica St. John


Cast overview, first billed only:
Freddy Reynolds ...
Mort Blacksmith
Rev. Neville
Angela Punch McGregor ...
Gilda Marshall (as Angela Punch)
Steve Dodd ...
Tabidgi (as Steve Dodds)
Peter Carroll ...
Ruth Cracknell ...
Mrs. Heather Newby
Don Crosby ...
Jack Newby
Petra Graf
Peter Sumner ...
Dowie Steed
Tim Robertson ...
Ray Meagher ...
Dud Edmonds
Brian Anderson ...
Jane Harders ...
Mrs. Healey


The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The chant of the underdog See more »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 June 1978 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Die Ballade von Jimmie Blacksmith  »

Box Office


AUD 1,280,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film's opening prologue reads: "Based on real events that took place in Australia at the turn of the century". See more »


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a very black song...
29 March 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This film from 1978 as directed by Fred Schipisi of SIX DEGREES fame and of Thomas Keneally's book - he wrote SCHINDLER'S LIST - is a grim and disturbing depiction set during colonial 19th century Australia of a young Aboriginal man's descent into frustrated violence against his white English landowner masters. It becomes a really brutal film with explicit axe murders, especially against young girls and older women, and it is this visually distressing depiction that ultimately alienated the cinema audience. Jimmy's humiliation and cruel treatment is equally explicit and it is a relentless string of unhappy experiences by his inhumane 'boss' that ultimately causes him to crack - and hack. As a novel it is all in the mind of the reader but as a cinemascope color film, the 'running amok with an axe' sequences make any crowd want to run from the cinema. It was not seen on TV in Australia for almost 20 years and it is not likely to be either without most of the violence cut out, thus blunting the heavy handed message and the ultimate impact. Like poor Jimmy himself, the film version is in no man's land either. Past all that, it is a well made film and with an excellent cast; but very tough going. It fits well into a series of very sharply observed Australian films depicting the British colonial mind and its misunderstanding or cruelty towards Aboriginies: JEDDA in 1956, WALKABOUT in 1970, this film in 1978, RABBIT PROOF FENCE in 2001 and THE TRACKER in 2003. Each and every one are unique and excellent in their story. This one however, is the most violent which does derail its message. White urban Australia run amok is hilarious in a 1966 comedy THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB or demented boozy antics in THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY MCKENZIE in 1972... and alarmingly, horrifyingly realistic, soaked in beer bullets fists and dead kangaroos blood in Ted Kotcheff's superb 1971 drama OUTBACK. See the lot! It is a head-shaking but enlightening string of films, especially if seen in chronological we all did! (may explain why our film makers in the 90s made musicals)

18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Finally getting a Region 1 (US) release!!! neil57
Discuss The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: