7.4/10
1,028
9 user 15 critic

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The true story of Irish outlaw Daniel Morgan, who is wanted, dead or alive, in Australia during the 1850s.

Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jack Thompson, David Gulpilil
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
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
Drama
    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 7.2/10 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
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
Ceddo (1977)
Drama
    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
Libido (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Explores adultery and jealous fantasies, the end of innocence, the moral and spiritual conflicts of a priest and a nun in love. The stories define the exploration of women and the cultural upheaval of the early 70s.

Directors: David Baker, Tim Burstall, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Elke Neidhart, Bryon Williams, Mark Albiston
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After discovering that a group of car thieves may have something to do with his father's untimely death, Steve pursues the criminals and attempts to capture them as well as prove his prowess as a racecar driver.

Director: Quentin Masters
Stars: James Laurie, Gia Carides, Max Cullen
Malcolm (1986)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Malcolm is a chronically shy mechanical genius who has just been fired for building his own tram. He gets Frank, who has just been released from jail, to move in to help pay the bills. ... See full summary »

Director: Nadia Tass
Stars: Colin Friels, John Hargreaves, Lindy Davies
Stone (1974)
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s.

Director: Sandy Harbutt
Stars: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes
The Last Wave (1977)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    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
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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 <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The chant of the underdog See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 1978 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Die Ballade von Jimmie Blacksmith  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,280,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was the first of three consecutive Australian films selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The second was My Brilliant Career (1979) whilst the third was Breaker Morant (1980). See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lacerating Film
17 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fine example of the breed of excellent Australian films released in the 1970s during the Australian film renaissance (it's interesting to note that virtually all of the directors of these films, including director Fred Schepisi, later moved to the U.S. to make big budget Hollywood films). This tale of a young aboriginal man who eventually turns to violence following one humiliation after another by white settlers in 19th century Australia asks some very uncomfortable questions of the audience such as: Is it morally justified to use violence against a corrupt, racist, violent system in which there are no lawful means to receive justice? Additionally, it is up to interpretation whether the violent reactions of the title character are justified: we are clearly sympathetic to him in the beginning, but once he perpetuates incredible brutality on the settlers, can we remain sympathetic? He is definitely not a monster, but a well-mannered and educated Aboriginal brought up by missionaries. After all, his actions are not simply heat-of-the-moment reactions; he has formally "declared war" on the perpetuators of injustice. Does that legitimize what he is doing? The U.S. has been asking itself these exact same questions for the past 50 years: Jimmy is very much a close Australian cousin to Bigger Thomas, the main character in Richard Wright's classic American novel "Native Son" - a black man pushed to violence by virtually every aspect of white society.

However, like Wright, I admired director Schepisi's decision to carefully straddle the line between whether Jimmy can be viewed as a simple societal construct or whether he is a man in control of his own actions. One could easily make a case for either of these scenarios or probably both of them. That makes the movie even more uncomfortable when one thinks about it afterward.

In many ways, this is a very depressing movie; in the end there is no closure, no justice, and nobody has learned a damned thing, except possibly the audience, if they truly think about what they have just seen. I really respect filmmakers who tackle incredibly difficult subject matter such as this, with moral quagmires and complex characters. My only complaint is that it is very difficult to understand much of the Aussie English, so an American viewer must listen very closely. This is a film definitely deserving of a U.S. audience. Too bad that its controversial (i.e. thought-provoking) nature has probably prevented it from being released on VHS or DVD in the U.S. I understand copies of this are quite rare abroad, as well, so I suggest viewing it if given the opportunity.


30 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH wocatell
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:
?