Return to Snowy River (1988) Poster

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Impressive sequel worthy of recognition
lady_writer20 February 2000
Such a masterpiece as the first of these two Snowy River films was, the sequel to The Man From Snowy River is everything that a follow-up should be. It does not tread on the toes of its predecessor, preferring to leave the legend that was the first film live on in some unique immortality.

The Man From Snowy River II is based upon the return of Jim Craig to the Snowy River country after a three year absence. The film subtly tells a tale of change in the nineteenth century, of Australian history, legend and horses. The storyline demonstrates a touch of Hollywood in lighter shades, an aspect that was absolutely absent in the first film, yet this blends uniquely with the a distinct sense of Australian patriotism. The plot is far more vibrant than the first film, and much more showy, with particular aspects of the previous incorporated into the film, yet The Man From Snowy River II possesses every essential characteristic of the first film; sensationally beautiful cinematography, a stunning focus of the Australian high country, the second most impressive footage of horses ever filmed, and a fantastic and deeply moving soundtrack by Bruce Rowland which equals the first in every way. Geoff Burrowes has done a superb job with this film, and it is highly worthy of recognition, especially with regard to the quality of the Australian Film Industry. The lead cast, from Tom Burlinson to Sigrid Thornton, and a well-replaced Brian Dennehy, carry off their parts with as much passion and distinction as the first film. As far as sequels can go, The Man From Snowy River II is a masterpiece; a deeply moving and inspirational experience yet again.
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Burrowes Puts Burlinson Back in the Saddle
wes-connors28 August 2011
Three years after the events in "The Man from Snowy River" (1982), wild horse tamer Tom Burlinson (as Jim Craig) returns to his Australian farm. Hair-teasing Sigrid Thornton (as Jessica Harrison) is still in town, but the couple appear to have drifted apart. Understandable. They don't exactly pick up where they left off for a couple of reasons. She has attracted another suitor, handsome Nicholas Eadie (as Alistair Patton), who is preferred by daddy Brian Dennehy (as Harrison). This very predictable story is highlighted by another wild mountain ride by the lead actor, in the beautiful Victoria Alps. Also interesting is how the conveyance of pre-marital sex is satisfying, contextually; this is a "family" movie.

***** The Man from Snowy River II (3/24/88) Geoff Burrowes ~ Tom Burlinson, Sigrid Thornton, Nicholas Eadie, Brian Dennehy
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sossegado30 January 2005
This movie is the only movie I have ever been to see in the theater where, once the movie was over, everyone (and the place was filled) in the audience was clapping. I was 9/10 at the time, so I wasn't old enough to see the first one in the theaters but I was completely awe-struck and I still am to this day.

This movie, along with its prequel "The Man From Snowy River", are both in my top 10 favorite movies list.

Everyone in the movie was very well-suited for their roles. You loved the right people, hated the right people and forgave the right people.

It's going to continue to be a classic for many decades to come. I give it a 10 out of 10 star, along with its prequel.

It actually came out the same year as another one of my all-time favorites, "Starlight Hotel". Neither of these movies relied on special effects which is another reason the movie is so great. It really feels like you're right there along for the ride.

I recommend this movie to everyone - young, old, male, female. It's definitely worth taking two hours out of your time to watch.
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Reminder of being Australian.
themak-4068423 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
AMERICANS WON'T GET IT... For me, this movie is very much a trip down memory lane, but it mainly reignites my pride to be Australian. The vistas and scenery are just a glimpse of how beautiful Australia is, much more than stubby out back scenery that the world associates with Australia. The screenplay also gives us reminders of the Australian character, Jim's ride on the skill of arms course, a snub at authority, very Australian. Do not pay attention to American reviews, they struggle with the concept that any nation but them can ride horses with any skill and I would put an Australian Stockman up against an American cowboy any day. If you want to remember everything good about being an Aussie, this is the movie.
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Mandatory sequel looks great again
gcd703 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Geoff Burrowes takes us on a mandatory "Return to Snowy River" (the title used in the U.S.) in this expected sequel which is again a feast to the eyes as some superb cinematography treats us to spectacular views of rugged Aussie bushland, awesome ranges (the Snowy Mountains) and beautiful horses in full flight. This though would be the only reason to see "Snowy II", and for that, just the big screen will suffice.

The plot, which features a contrived, crowd pleasing ending, is an excuse to dredge old characters, situations and confrontations up again. Brian Dennehy can't replace old sour puss Kirk Douglas (no offense to Dennehy, a fine actor in his own right), and key support actors who made the first outing so enjoyable are missing here. We don't see Gus Mercurio nor Jack Thompson (Clancy of the Overflow) returning to Snowy River this time. Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton do little more than play out their roles, while new villain Nicholas Eadie is a foppish cad. Thank goodness for Bruce Rowland's grand music.

Monday, October 20, 1997 - Video
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disappointing sequel
disdressed1220 April 2008
i didn't think this this sequel to The Man From Snowy River was that great.i thought it was too drawn,it was fairly heavy on the romance angle,which isn't my cup of tea.Tom Burlinson returns as Jim Craig,the title character in the first movie.Sigrid Thornton returns as his love interest.Kurt Douglas played her father,Harrison,in the original.Brian Denehey plays that role in this movie.this is not the worst movie i have seen,but it wasn't as good as i'd hoped.still,just like the first one,there is some very beautiful scenery,and a great musical score.Burlinson and Thornton are both decent actors,at least in this movie.Dennehy is also good.for me,Return to Snowy River is a 5/10
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I don't hate 'The Man from Snowy River II', but
r96sk18 September 2020
Pointless sequel.

I don't hate 'The Man from Snowy River II', but there's nothing I truly liked about it either. It spends the first 45 minutes dragging out the love squabble between Jim and Jessica, for no reason as it's blatantly obvious where it's all going - yet they decide to do a will they/wont they for a huge chunk of the film. Once that gets sorted, it does get a tad better. Still, the premise isn't that great at all.

Cast-wise it's OK, even with the sizeable absence of Kirk Douglas; who played a dual role in the original. Despite Douglas not reappearing, the character of Harrison does return - with Brian Dennehy. Should've killed him off instead to be honest, story would've felt more different and fresher in my opinion. Meanwhile, Tom Burlinson (Jim) and Sigrid Thornton (Jessica) are, again, decent.

Quite interesting that Disney decided to pick up the sequel. In the opening scene or two there's a kid involved, which made me fear they were going to fully dumb it down to be family friendly with a bunch of children onscreen. Thankfully, they don't. That, unfortunately, doesn't stop it being an average film.
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Catching and Taming the Brumbies
bkoganbing10 March 2016
Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton return in their roles from The Man From Snowy River based on the A.B. Patterson epic poem about the Australian outback. Burlinson has proved himself to be a master of catching and taming the wild mustang known to us Yanks as Brumbies. Now he's back but her father is just as opposed to Burlinson marrying his daughter as he was in the first film.

Brian Dennehy takes over the role of the American migrant who came to Australia and made his fortune that Kirk Douglas played in The Man From Snowy River. But it was a dual part that Kirk played, he was also the ne'er do well brother who spent his life in the high country prospecting.

Some folks have all the luck, the twin brother died and on his property only feet from where he dug was a mother lode of a gold vein. His fellow prospectors inherited his land and truly share in his potential wealth. That's something resented by Dennehy and the landed gentry he's part of.

Dennehy has some respect for what Burlinson has done, but he sees Thornton as marrying up into society and maybe as a part of a merger of families. Like royalty so to speak.

The one he has in mind is the son of the local banker Nicholas Eadie who for our purposes is one Snidely Whiplash like villain.

Like The Man From Snowy River, Return From Snowy River captures well the flavor of the Australian frontier. Sad that Kirk Douglas couldn't return, but Brian Dennehy is a more than adequate substitute in the patriarchal role.

Just brush up a little on your Australian idioms and this is a well done story with a plot you'll recognize from a ton of American westerns.
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Some stupid decisions mars this potentially fine sequel
Bob-457 May 2013
The three best things about "Man From Snowy River" were 1) The widescreen vistas 2) Kirk Douglas, especially as Spur 3) The music. Well, one of of three is not so good (though I do understand the Australian release was in Widescreen) The standard 35 (on the US DVD, at least) really detracts from the magnificent vistas that made "The Man From Snowy River" such a joy to watch (and helped disguise its relatively low budget). However, the most disastrous mistake that nearly undoes the movie is eliminating the "Spur" character and recasting "Harrison" with Brian Dennehy instead of Kirk Douglas. My gosh, are you telling me Kirk Douglas was not available SOMETIME during the SIX years between "Man From Snowy River" and "Return to..."? I also heard that Kirk Douglas was uniformly disliked by the original cast. If that is true, why not at least cast an actor with the same type of INTENSITY as Kirk Douglas; right off hand, I can think of three: Richard Widmark, Charlton Heston and James Coburn. Any of these three actors could play BOTH "Harrison" and "Spur". If the writers insisted on "killing off" "Spur," they could then have least had one of these actors play him in flashbacks or dreams, as "Spur" really brought life to the first film. As it is, Dennehy plays "Harrison" so differently than Douglas, it took me nearly an hour to get used to the change.

I really hope to one day see the widescreen version of "Return to Snowy River" to see how much the process improves the pacing of the film, particularly since the plotting itself is tighter than the original. As it is, "Return to Snowy River" comes across as a bad knock-off of the original. I give "Return to Snowy River" a weak "6".
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A ghastly mistake
ladamson191823 March 2007
The original movie, Man From Snowy River, is one of the best I've seen, nearly perfect. A Lady and the Tramp storyline in two senses--rich girl/poor boy, and ability vs. bloodline. The sequel, however, is not only a shameless attempt to capitalize on the good name of the original but also a ridiculous, overblown Disneyfied mess best summarized as "Rambo Meets the Black Stallion." Without the charm of The Black Stallion. The young hero comes back from a 3-year absence, and suddenly he's Superman on horseback; in the original, good film, he was real and believable, but sadly reduced to a caricature in the sequel. I've hardly been as disappointed in a movie, and at times this thing made me quite angry--they missed hardly a cliché. Brazen audience manipulation--do studio heads think that all you have to do with a horse-loving audience is put pretty horses in front of them, to make them happy? A mess of a movie.
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Beautifully shot and acted sequel
celluloidcity24 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Man from Snowy River II doesn't reinvent the wheel but is a crowd-pleasing beautiful film that hits some great notes.

For those fans wanting the elements that made the original Man From Snowy River film a hit, (breathtaking scenery, sweeping score, sweet romanticism and cracking action) this film really delivers. This story picks up a few years from the end of the first, Jim (Tom Burlinson) has been away gathering his fortune in a brood of stock horses. He returns to pick up where he left off with his pluckish well-bred sweetheart Jessica (played by Aussie divine lady Sigrid Thornton) who is still attempting to break out of her corseted upbringing on her feather's cattle station (Harrison is now played by American Brian Dennehy). The foil to Jim and character that shakes the plot is the well-to-do upper class snob Alistair Patton (Nicholas Eadie) who has his sights on Jessica. Add to the mix some social tension surrounding landholdings and the stallion with a bad attitude from the first film and that's the plot.

The best thing about this film is the acting. Tom Burlinson fits snugly into Jim's wide brim hat and laconic humour. Sigrid Thornton is a lovely heroine and the two manage some real chemistry on screen. Filling the solid shoes of Kirk Douglas was never going to be easy and Brian Dennehy stomps and shouts but never feels very authentic in this part.

The music is sweeping and lush and the cinematography could be a roll from a Victoria tourism reel. There are moment however that feel very self-indulgent, like the director wants just one more helicopter shot of the riders to show how gorgeous the landscape is without some personal human drama. A little more grit would have sufficed here, we are Aussie's, we can take it!! There are some very JAWSish moments with the stallion that defy belief. However the funny thing about this film is that in amongst some glaring clichés, there are some really inventive and touching scenes. Jim putting the saddle on the stallion (VERY Horse Whisperish before its time) Jim and Jessica setting up home, the fabulous scene where Jim shows up Alistair's riding with his trusty whip. I can see why this character is such an icon.

Altogether a very pleasing sequel. Here's hoping everyone involved wants to make another. the Man From Snowy River III: The CRAIGS. I'm sure we'd all love to see how Jim and Jessica are doing on their farm.

The Aussie DVD has a couple of extra scenes in it. Worthwhile if you are already a fan.
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Worse Than The Original
ccthemovieman-112 May 2007
This film, like the first one ("The Man From Snowy River") has the same good and bad features, perhaps even more so than the original. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good.

The GOOD - Magnificent scenery, better than the first film. I love those high country shots in Australia. Tom Burlinson is still a likable guy, as "Jim Craig." Bruce Rowland did a nice job with the music, too.

The BAD - Once again we get an extremely obnoxious feminist heroine "Jessica" (Sigrid Thornton) who is a world-class pouter with an extremely annoying face and manner about her. In this film, we also get a big downgrade in who pays the father. Previously it was Kirk Douglas, now replaced by the always -profane Brian Dennehy. Speaking of that, it is a disgrace that a Walt Disney film would includes usages of the Lord's name in vain. That was one reason was almost totally down the tubes in the 1980s. This film, like the first one
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Kirpianuscus23 September 2017
it is not easy to say why this film seems real special. all is well known, many Hallmark films are the same mix of romance and drama, the characters are well known from so many films of genre, the heroism and the Manichean confrontation are not original. maybe, the performance of Brian Dennehy and the next-door-boy of Tom Burlison are the pillars of interest. and, sure, the memories about classic westerns, doing to ignore than it is an Australian film. short, a softy entertainment. with the expected love story - impossible, off course, and the moral lesson.
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Very good movie
mobyvic24 September 2006
As a horse lover one can only appreciate this movie. There are few movies that show horsemanship as this one does. I would love to know if Brian does his own riding in the film. Would also like to know if he enjoys horses. Brian has been in a lot of movies where he has ridden. Where did he learn to ride? The only part that is hard for me to take is that the riding scenes are always full tilt, like a horse can run forever at full steam. The camera-work is first rate and captures the horses in a way that shows how dangerous things can be on top of a horse. It would be very interesting to know how they went about casting this movie to find all of the very good horseback riders.
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Those vistas are breathtaking!
mark.waltz27 July 2022
Warning: Spoilers
A switch in movie studios (from 20th Century Fox to Disney) also led to a casting change with Brian Dennehy (very popular after "Cocoon") taking over the second role that Kirk Douglas had played in the original. He's very upset that Tom Burlinson has returned to reclaim his daughter Sigrid Thornton, and does everything in his power to prevent them from being together. But you can't stop true love, and as the two lovers sneak off together, the audience will root for them over Dennehy.

Once again, the scenery is fantastic, with several riding sequences on the mountains truly amazing as a helicopter spins around so the viewer can see everything. The music too aides in making this a powerful moment. Every detail is almost there perfect although the film is a bit too long, filled with a few slow moving stagnant points.

But it's a tribute to the tenacity of the people who helped settle this part of the Australian wilderness, with various conversations indicating the many different parts of the world these settlers have come from, and indicating a bit of a class system based on that. Quite interesting for these detailed elements that I was unaware of.
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Very disappointing sequel
connie-17920 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After what I thought was a masterful performance of two roles in Man From Snowy River, WHY was Kirk Douglas replaced by Brian Dennehy in the sequel? It just wasn't the same without Spur and Harrison, as portrayed by Douglas. Maybe he recognized how poor the plot was--Jim returns after extended absence, to find Jessica being pursued by another man. He could not expect any girl to wait that long with no contact from him, and not find competition. For a Disney movie, this contains foul language, plus the highly unnecessary part when Jim & Jessica shacked up without being married--very LAME. Quite an insult to viewer intelligence, according to members of my family. I'll stick with the first one, and try to forget I ever saw the sequel!
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Not a let down as a sequel
cheney888 June 1999
An excellent follow up to a great movie. It's not just a sequel riding coat tails. Though Harrison is played by a different actor, Dennehy does a nice job of filling Kirk Douglas' shoes in this role. Full of passion - not just the love type.
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An absolutely beautiful end to an awesome story!!
suzyq26725 March 2002
Burlinson and Thornton give an outstanding performance in this movie, along with Dennehy. Although it is at first thought to be only about love, it really goes down deeper than that. The beauty of nature captures this movie, placing among one of the best I have ever seen. The horse scenes are absolutely fantastic!! Any horse-lovers out there will love this movie!
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