All of us have iconic images from our childhood or teen years that just take us back like a time machine to a certain era or place or feeling. Something, whether book, movie, scent, activity that goes right for the gut of our emotion.
Today, I'm starting a series exploring some of those things in my life.
When I was a child, my parents went out a couple times a month for a date. But movies were always expensive (at least on our budget) so they went about four times a year as a couple. After one of these dates, my sister and I would bug my mom about the movie.
"What was the movie about? Did you like it? Was it exciting?"
My mom was sooooo cool! She'd sit on her bed and we'd sprawl across the King-size quilt, close our eyes and imagine the scenes as she told us the story. I watched some of the films later, and they weren't nearly as awesome as mom made them. I mean they were good, but not as good as what Mom had described.
Or maybe Hollywood just couldn't compete with my imagination?
Eventually, my family got a VCR and we'd trot down to the video store (remember those dinosaurs???) on Friday night and pick out a movie.
One of the few films that completely lived up to (and surpassed) my mental version of my mother's storytelling was the Australian movie, "The Man from Snowy River".
Did you all see that movie?
Did you fall in love with Jim Craig?
My sister and I sure did.
I imagined myself as Harrison's daughter Jessica soooo many times.
I wanted to be fiery and smart and beautiful just like her!
The budding romance.
Forbidden love as the hero and heroine ride horses.
Match made in heaven.
That's what I remembered as a preteen.
Then I watched it as an adult.
The Aussie accents.
The wry humor.
The long-lasting feud between Harrison and his twin.
(Kirt Douglas is awesome!)
But one thing was still as powerful as when my mother told it, as when I first watched it on our grainy 18" TV:
Jim Craig's breathtaking leap over the ridge and down the near-vertical mountain slope.
I thought nothing could top that.
Then I found the original poem.
This is the essence of the movie, the story:
The stripling from Snowy River proving himself, pitting himself against the other men and against nature itself as he chases down the Brumbies.
(The love story, as much as I swoon over it, is secondary.)
I envy Banjo Paterson his words.
He uses jargon and common words to deftly illustrate characters, describe a horse outside and in, paint a vista and offer you the opportunity to ride with the stockmen on the ultimate chase.
Go ahead. Watch, listen, and envy. I know I did.
Special thanks to my sister (fellow Man-from-Snowy-River-groupie) who found this on You-Tube and shared.