Wednesday, June 13, 2012

With or Without Fries

My guest author this week, Elizabeth Musser, listed The Man From Snowy River as one of the reasons she fell in love with Australia. That would have been in 1982, when the movie released with a good chunk of Aussie cinema talent and a drizzle of Hollywood's elite.

I must be the only Aussie who missed seeing this movie, way back when I was a teenager and it played on the silver screen. My Beloved remembers going to the cinema with his school for a viewing, but me..? No. Sorry. I don't know what happened. I didn't see it then, and somehow, never managed it any time during the next three decades, either.

So what's a girl to do? Call a friend and arrange for a quick delivery of a dvd, that's what. With a sore shoulder from a small but colourful fall on Friday, I snuggled under blankets and muscle ointments and made my acquaintance with this famous Aussie Historical movie.

I want to add the word Romance to the description, as that's how the studios dished it up. But as the Banjo Patterson poem tells us, his Snowy River man didn't win the love of a heroine at all. That little bouquet garni of fiction was added to make the romantics happy, even if it veered from the poet's original story line.

Because a generous dollop of romance is an ingredient producers and writers know will sell. An ingredient which, if added to the recipe of a good story, with the juicy marrow of drama and a thick slice of mystery, combine to leave the audience satisfied and glad they bothered. Most times at least.

So what's your favourite historical movie? While not as old as The Man From Snowy River, my favourite is not a recent release either. It's Becoming Jane, although that too didn't stick to the real life script of Jane Austen's life, but borrowed heavily from tenuous speculation to thread a romance and broken heart into the story of the story-teller herself.

What about you? Do you have a favourite historical movie? Is it a love story, and would you have liked it less if it came without fries?

I mean... romance.