12 user 4 critic

Bush Christmas (1947)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 28 July 1947 (UK)
In Australia, five children pursue horse thieves through the mountains.


Ralph Smart


Ralph Smart




Cast overview:
Chips Rafferty ... Long Bill
John Fernside John Fernside ... Jim
Stan Tolhurst Stan Tolhurst ... Blue Kennedy
Pat Penny Pat Penny ... Henry Thompson - Father
Thelma Grigg ... Mrs. Thompson - Mother
John McCallum ... Narrator (voice)
Helen Grieve Helen Grieve ... Helen Thompson
Nicky Yardley Nicky Yardley ... Snow Thompson
Morris Unicomb Morris Unicomb ... John Thompson
Michael Yardley Michael Yardley ... Michael Thompson
Neza Saunders Neza Saunders ... Neza


In a small town in Australia, five children riding their horses from school take a forbidden path and meet two strangers, who give them money and make them promise not to tell anyone about them. The two men learn about Lucy. She's a mare belonging to Mr. Thompson, a sheep farmer and the father of three of the children: Helen (the oldest), John, and six-year-old Snow (so named for the color of his hair). The other two are Michael, an English boy staying with the Thompsons, and Neza, an Australian black who is the son of one of Mr. Thompson's stock men. The two men (a third one joins them later) prove to be horse thieves, and when Lucy and her foal turn up missing the next morning, the children know it must have been them. Later, the children tell Mrs. Thompson they're going camping. But their real plan is to find the thieves and get Lucy and the foal back. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the land of the Overlanders...A picture that makes you regret that you ever grew up!


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Helen Grieve, who played the part of Helen, became so fond of the stallion she rode that she bought the horse after filming was completed. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: I don't expect you've ever heard of our valley. Mara Mara is its name, the name the Australian blacks gave it hundreds of years before we came to their land. Mara Mara. It has a nice, sleepy sound, hasn't it? And we're a sleepy little town, too. Plenty of hard work, but never much excitement. That is to say, not until last Christmas. I must tell you about last Christmas, because then we had too much excitement for a little place like ours. It all started on the afternoon school ...
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User Reviews

Bush Christmas (Ralph Smart, 1947) **1/2
28 December 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This pleasant kiddie flick has the benefit of being located in the relatively unusual Australian outback despite its Christmas period setting; as everyone knows, Australian Christmases are hot summery ones rather than marked by the cold weather which is so intrinsic to the Christmas spirit for the rest of the world. Although I've become familiar with a handful of Australian movies in fairly recent years, this is undoubtedly the oldest one I've watched so far – although, technically, this is a British-Australian co-production. For the record, the film was quite popular on its home turf and was, in fact, remade much later in 1983 with a young Nicole Kidman featured in the cast!

Anyway, writer-director Ralph Smart had a hand in concocting several earlier, notable British comedies – ALF'S BUTTON AFLOAT (1938), CONVICT 99 (1938), etc. – and later went into TV where he dealt with such heroic figures as William Tell and Robin Hood; indeed, BUSH Christmas adequately displays his light touch and sense of adventure which makes for a decent, low-key entertainment which passes the time amiably enough. The unassuming plot has to do with a group of young children (including a bungling, bespectacled Briton and a half-Aborigine tracker) falling foul of three horse thieves (one of whom is played by popular Australian actor Chips Rafferty).

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UK | Australia



Release Date:

28 July 1947 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bush Country Adventure See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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