6.1/10
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12 user 3 critic

Bush Christmas (1947)

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

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
John Fernside ...
Jim
Stan Tolhurst ...
Pat Penny ...
...
...
Narrator (voice)
Helen Grieve ...
Nicky Yardley ...
Morris Unicomb ...
Michael Yardley ...
Neza Saunders ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 July 1947 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bush Country Adventure  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[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

 
Home Alone Meets the Spy Kids
16 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I'm sure that the producers of both the Home Alone movies and the Spy Kids films must have seen this one at some point in time. Bush Christmas combines good elements of both those film series and has innate charm of its own.

Australia where they never dream about a White Christmas serves as the backdrop for the kid's adventure. Children are on a quest for stolen horses after encountering the thieves Good location photography out in the outback really sets the tone for the kids. No crazy special effects, but the Australian background accents the danger of the kids search. I wish this original version had been done in color, but that was all, but unknown in the nascent Australian film industry.

I like the kids here because they are real. When you watch something like Home Alone or Spy Kids you can't forget you're seeing Hollywood personalities no matter how talented they are. These Aussie kids are real and charming.

Finally to recommend this film is the presence of the first real star who worked and developed the Australian cinema. Chips Rafferty plays Long Bill, one of the horse thieves and even though he's the bad guy, he's a likable cuss as he is in all his films.

At 6'5" Chips is kind of hard to miss and he doesn't exactly have matinée idol looks. But whenever I do see him, I think he represents Australia the same way Maurice Chevalier became an international Frenchman or Harry Lauder is the quintessential Scot. He's tough, he's funny and he had to be the inspiration for Crocidile Dundee. He never gave a bad performance in anything he ever did.

This one is recommended for Australians wherever they might be on this old globe of our's.


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