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The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

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Jimmie Blacksmith, the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, falls victim to much racist abuse after marrying a white woman, and goes on a killing spree and finds himself on the run in the aftermath.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writers:

Fred Schepisi (screenplay), Thomas Keneally (novel)
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5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lewis ... Jimmie Blacksmith
Freddy Reynolds Freddy Reynolds ... Mort Blacksmith
Ray Barrett ... Farrell
Jack Thompson ... Rev. Neville
Angela Punch McGregor Angela Punch McGregor ... Gilda Marshall (as Angela Punch)
Steve Dodd Steve Dodd ... Tabidgi (as Steve Dodds)
Peter Carroll ... McCready
Ruth Cracknell Ruth Cracknell ... Mrs. Heather Newby
Don Crosby Don Crosby ... Jack Newby
Elizabeth Alexander ... Petra Graf
Peter Sumner ... Dowie Steed
Tim Robertson Tim Robertson ... Healey
Ray Meagher ... Dud Edmonds
Brian Anderson Brian Anderson ... Hyberry
Jane Harders Jane Harders ... Mrs. Healey
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Storyline

The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner. Written by <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The chant of the underdog See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1978 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Ballade von Jimmie Blacksmith See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,280,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is based on an actual true incident. See more »

Quotes

McCready: You can't say we haven't given you anything. We've introduced you to alcohol, religion.
Jimmie Blacksmith: Religion.
McCready: Influenza, measles, syphilis. School.
Jimmie Blacksmith: School.
McCready: A whole host of improvements.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a very black song...
29 March 2005 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

This film from 1978 as directed by Fred Schipisi of SIX DEGREES fame and of Thomas Keneally's book - he wrote SCHINDLER'S LIST - is a grim and disturbing depiction set during colonial 19th century Australia of a young Aboriginal man's descent into frustrated violence against his white English landowner masters. It becomes a really brutal film with explicit axe murders, especially against young girls and older women, and it is this visually distressing depiction that ultimately alienated the cinema audience. Jimmy's humiliation and cruel treatment is equally explicit and it is a relentless string of unhappy experiences by his inhumane 'boss' that ultimately causes him to crack - and hack. As a novel it is all in the mind of the reader but as a cinemascope color film, the 'running amok with an axe' sequences make any crowd want to run from the cinema. It was not seen on TV in Australia for almost 20 years and it is not likely to be either without most of the violence cut out, thus blunting the heavy handed message and the ultimate impact. Like poor Jimmy himself, the film version is in no man's land either. Past all that, it is a well made film and with an excellent cast; but very tough going. It fits well into a series of very sharply observed Australian films depicting the British colonial mind and its misunderstanding or cruelty towards Aboriginies: JEDDA in 1956, WALKABOUT in 1970, this film in 1978, RABBIT PROOF FENCE in 2001 and THE TRACKER in 2003. Each and every one are unique and excellent in their story. This one however, is the most violent which does derail its message. White urban Australia run amok is hilarious in a 1966 comedy THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB or demented boozy antics in THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY MCKENZIE in 1972... and alarmingly, horrifyingly realistic, soaked in beer bullets fists and dead kangaroos blood in Ted Kotcheff's superb 1971 drama OUTBACK. See the lot! It is a head-shaking but enlightening string of films, especially if seen in chronological order....like we all did! (may explain why our film makers in the 90s made musicals)


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