Make sure you really stock up with the munchies when you sit down to this ambitious and ultimately unsatisfying saga of Australia's growing pains. Presumably an intended historical epic chronicling the rise of the country from an island outpost to a world power, Chauvel certainly poured his heart and patriotism into the undertaking.
Centered around the Morrison and Perry families, this cumbersome tale of dysfunctional relationships (James Morrison especially is portrayed as a dastardly cad) more than drags in places. The greater part of the film harks back to the early colonial days and Chauvel's account at the outset, would not make you yearn to have been around then - least not within a decent AVO of these two families.
Just as the average viewer is about to slip into a coma, Chauvel has tacked on a six minutes montage sequence which propels viewers from the 1860's to the (then) present time - the mid 1930's! It is the film's single redeeming feature. Trivia buffs may also spot Charles Chauvel's wife Elsa (credited as Ann Wynn), appearing as Mrs MacQuarie. The cinematography by Tasman and Arthur Higgins was spot on while Charles Chauvel and his wife scripted.
For all its sprawling lack of appeal, HERITAGE picked up the Commonwealth Government's prize for the "Best Australian Film" of 1935.
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