5.7/10
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Bush Christmas (1983)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family | 22 December 1983 (Australia)
In the Australian outback a family struggles to keep its farm from foreclosure. Their only hope is that their horse, Prince, will win money in a New Year's race. But when Prince is stolen ... See full summary »

Director:

Henri Safran

Writer:

Ted Roberts
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Ewart ... Bill
John Howard ... Sly
Mark Spain Mark Spain ... John Thompson
James Wingrove James Wingrove ... Michael
Peter Sumner ... Ben Thompson
Nicole Kidman ... Helen
Manalpuy Manalpuy ... Manalpuy
Vineta O'Malley Vineta O'Malley ... Kate Thompson
Maurice Hughes Maurice Hughes ... Carrol
Bob Hunt Bob Hunt ... Jack
Brian Thompson Brian Thompson ... Bookmaker
Liam Maloney Liam Maloney ... Derby Mulcahy
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Storyline

In the Australian outback a family struggles to keep its farm from foreclosure. Their only hope is that their horse, Prince, will win money in a New Year's race. But when Prince is stolen the children embark on a dangerous and exciting adventure to get him back. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The much loved Australian story of an outback family and a Christmas adventure that they would never forget

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1983 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Prince and the Great Race See more »

Filming Locations:

Queensland, Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Indigenous Aboriginal Australian actor Manalpuy portrayed a character, Manalpuy, who had the same name as his own. This was his only film. See more »

Goofs

When Kate Thompson catches up with the cattle herd, she is seen in the distance walking down a road with a dog with her. In the previous scenes of her walk, there was no dog with her. See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

A Billy of Tea
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by John Howard and The Bushwackers Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice little Australian Christmas film ...
15 August 2003 | by GunbarrelSee all my reviews

I first saw this film back in 1990 (we still have the VHS tape we recorded it on back then) and although I'm now 13 years older the film still makes for an enjoyable viewing.

The story involves the Thompson family, whose farm has just survived a drought and are in dire straits and risk losing their farm if they can't pay the mortgage off. Their only hope lies in their horse - Prince - who will be competing in the New Years Day Cup and if he can win they'll have enough to pay off the debt. Unfortunately 2 bumbling lowlifes called Bill and Sly steal Prince and head off into the bush where they hope to escape and use Prince to make a fortune. Upon realising this the 3 children in the house (Helen, John and their English cousin Michael) set off into the bush after the 2 thieves along with Manalpuy, an Aboriginal who lives on their farm.

The story is pretty simplistic but considering the target audience is primarily children it's decent fun. This film is special being that it was Nicole Kidman's first starring role in a movie (at the young age of 17). Australian TV viewers would probably also be interested to know that also starring was an actor named John Howard (not the prime minister) who today is now well-known for his roles in the Australian TV series 'SeaChange' (which he won a Logie for) and 'Always Greener' - here he plays one of the horse thieves (Sly) and its interesting to see the way he looked 20 years ago (he looks a lot thinner - and taller - but the face has remained the same).

Since seeing the film in 1990 I have never seen it screened again on television, nor have I seen it anywhere in any video store, so good luck to anyone who might want to catch it as it may be another of those 'hard-to-find' films (like too many older Australian films). Still its worth a watch if you can - if only to see a young, teenage Nicole Kidman with curly brown hair and freckles on her face.


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