Jimmie Blacksmith, the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, falls victim to much racist abuse after marrying a white woman, and goes on a killing spree and finds himself on the run in the aftermath.


Fred Schepisi


Fred Schepisi (screenplay), Thomas Keneally (novel)
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lewis ... Jimmie Blacksmith
Freddy Reynolds Freddy Reynolds ... Mort Blacksmith
Ray Barrett ... Farrell
Jack Thompson ... Rev. Neville
Angela Punch McGregor Angela Punch McGregor ... Gilda Marshall (as Angela Punch)
Steve Dodd Steve Dodd ... Tabidgi (as Steve Dodds)
Peter Carroll ... McCready
Ruth Cracknell Ruth Cracknell ... Mrs. Heather Newby
Don Crosby Don Crosby ... Jack Newby
Elizabeth Alexander ... Petra Graf
Peter Sumner ... Dowie Steed
Tim Robertson ... Healey
Ray Meagher ... Dud Edmonds
Brian Anderson Brian Anderson ... Hyberry
Jane Harders 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 <tgard@genauto.com>

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The chant of the underdog. See more »


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Did You Know?


'The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith' novel by Thomas Keneally was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1972. The book lost to John Berger's 'G'. See more »


McCready: You can't say we haven't given you anything. We've introduced you to alcohol, religion.
Jimmie Blacksmith: Religion.
McCready: Influenza, measles, syphilis. School.
Jimmie Blacksmith: School.
McCready: A whole host of improvements.
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User Reviews

Well intentioned and well meant
30 October 2020 | by christopher-underwoodSee all my reviews

Well intentioned and well meant, I am sure, but director Fred Schepisi is perhaps a little too reverent in his interpretation of the original book to the detriment of a smooth and effectively flowing cinematic narrative. There is an awful predictability here and for a lengthy film not really enough for the viewer to get their teeth into. It is true that the violent incident that transforms the action does come as a surprise in so far as the extent of the violence is concerned but it is something that has been signalled for a while. Beautifully shot, this is an attractive looking outback and countryside that is presented but the film is preceded by Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) which is far more beautiful overall and Walkabout (1971) which is far more dramatic. Jimmie Blacksmith has some fine sequences portraying the indigenous peoples but less maybe is more and these do not seem as dynamic as those in Nick Roeg's film. it is tempting to wonder just how much Schepisi was influenced by the rock formations and aboriginal depiction in the earlier films but it seems a little unfair and if the political and racial issues are a little heavy handed is to be applauded that he tackled them at all.

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Release Date:

22 June 1978 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith See more »


Box Office


AUD1,280,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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