Parents' Guide to

The Man from Snowy River

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Family-friendly Western with moments of harsh conflict.

Movie PG 1982 102 minutes
The Man from Snowy River Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 7+


I was shocked to see this get an overall rating of 3 when even IMDB it has a 7/10. Outside of the feminism and a few (realistic) foul language, this film was made on a low budget yet captured some of the best horse-riding stuntwork (the stuntmen/horseriders couldn't handle the Australian terrain, so they had to hire local Australian bushmen and farmers to film the work), the legendary Kirk Douglas brings 2 epic performances in a dual role. It brings alive a magnificent poem from the 1890s, the directing, screenplay, script and and acting are flawless. I watched this when I was 7 and have forever been in love with this film, to the point that my fiance and I are going to Orange NSW where Banjo Patterson was born on our honeymoon. This film's cinematography beats many higher budget films like the epic-budget, cinema flop of Australia. Forget Crocodile Dundee, if you want a taste of real Australia this is the film.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 5+

parents may find it a bit predictable but overall a great choice for the whole family

Our older kids love Yellowstone, Longmire, and raunchy western dramas, and our younger kids like Spirit and horse cartoons. How to merge the two? family friendly live action westerns! this was great and kept everyone interested without having any sex, violence, or cursing, there was one b*****d and no other bad words in the whole film. Awesome riding and beautiful scenery.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (5):

Back in 1982, this family-friendly Western -- complete with A-list star Douglas and a sweeping score -- put the Australian film industry on the map and made American audiences take notice. Decades later, parts of the movie feel overly sentimental (the music is especially cheesy every time Jim and Jessica gaze at each other and heavy handed at the mere possibility of violence). But it's still a charming and feel-good film, especially for audiences who like stories about self-starting young heroes who don't let their perceived station in life get in the way of their ambition or their sense of duty. Jim has a remarkable belief in honor and what's right, even if Harrison treats him like a lowly employee.

The cinematography and the horse sequences are especially beautiful, as are all the sweeping shots of the snow-capped hills. Like the sequences of The Lord of the Rings that feature New Zealand's beautiful landscape, this film highlights the gorgeous Australian hill country with a tenderness that makes the land another character in the movie. One of the best parts of the tale is Douglas' double duty as the rich and powerful Harrison and his estranged brother, Spur, who's a peg-legged hermit convinced that there's gold to be found in the hills. The romance is mostly an exercise in longing looks and good-natured pranks, but it strikes just the right note of chaste fluttery for tween viewers. Families who appreciate animal tales will love this classic drama.

Movie Details

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