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Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
     

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

3.0 1
Director: Fred Schepisi

Cast: Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Ray Barrett

 
Based on a novel by Thomas Keneally, which was in turn inspired by actual events, this drama is a shocking indictment of the racism inflicted on the indigenous people of Australia. Jimmie (Tommy Lewis) is a half-white, half-aborigine young man raised by a Methodist minister. Feeling outcast among the aborigines, Jimmie moves to the city and gets a job working for a

Overview

Based on a novel by Thomas Keneally, which was in turn inspired by actual events, this drama is a shocking indictment of the racism inflicted on the indigenous people of Australia. Jimmie (Tommy Lewis) is a half-white, half-aborigine young man raised by a Methodist minister. Feeling outcast among the aborigines, Jimmie moves to the city and gets a job working for a white family. When a white serving girl at the estate becomes pregnant, everyone is convinced that Jimmie is the father; to spare the girl's honor, Jimmie marries her and is allowed to live with her on the estate. But after the child is born, everyone realizes that the father was a white man, not Jimmie; he is still willing to accept the child and stand beside his wife, but his employers now feel that he married a white girl under false pretenses, and they bar him from the estate. Forbidden to see his wife and fired without receiving his pay, Jimmie finally explodes in a fury of violent revenge. Director Fred Schepisi's original cut of this film runs 122 minutes, though it was more widely distributed in a shortened version running 108 minutes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A difficult film that was one of the most shocking products of the Australian New Wave, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith demonstrated that Fred Schepisi was a director willing to handle explosive subjects. Schepisi had made The Devil's Playground two years earlier; in this film, he tackled a true story that had been semi-fictionalized by Thomas Keneally. It's a blazing indictment of Australian racism, centering on the mistreatment of a young half-breed aborigine (Tommy Lewis) raised by a Methodist minister. He gets mixed up in sexual politics, accused of misdeeds involving a white girl, and eventually goes on a murderous rampage. Schepisi's task is a thankless one, helped immeasurably by Lewis' portrayal, which helps audiences sympathize with a victim who becomes vengeful. Schepisi went on to a Hollywood career after this film won international acclaim.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/18/2008
UPC:
0858334001374
Original Release:
1978
Source:
Industrial Ent
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
49,651

Special Features

Tommy Lewis Interview; The Making of the Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith with Director Fred Schepisi

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tommy Lewis Jimmie Blacksmith
Freddy Reynolds Mort Blacksmith
Ray Barrett Constable Farrell
Jack Thompson Rev. Neville
Peter Carroll McCready
Elizabeth Alexander Petra Graf
Marshall Crosby Peter Newby
Rob Steele Claude Lewis
John Bowman Mullett
Bryan Brown Shearer
Ruth Cracknell Mrs. Heather Newby
Don Crosby Mr. Newby
Julie Dawson Martha Neville
Arthur Dignam Man in Butcher Shop
Steve Dodds Tabidgi
Jane Harders Mrs. Healy
Thomas Keneally Cook
Ray Meagher Dud Edmonds
Robyn Nevin Mrs. McCready
Angela Punch Gilda Marshall
Tim Robertson Healy
Peter Sumner Dowie Stead
Brian Anderson Hyberry

Technical Credits
Fred Schepisi Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ian Baker Cinematographer
Wendy Dickson Production Designer
Bruce Finlayson Costumes/Costume Designer
Daro Gunzberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Brian Kavanagh Editor
Bruce Smeaton Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
1. Young Jimmie [4:37]
2. Main Titles [2:31]
3. Jail & Freedom [3:26]
4. White World [6:20]
5. Black & White [9:08]
6. The New Jimmie [3:55]
7. Independence [11:41]
8. The Fiance [8:50]
9. The Camp [6:18]
10. Taking a Stand [2:38]
11. Massacre [5:49]
12. War [6:47]
13. On the Run [12:22]
14. The Sentence [2:58]
15. Safe Haven [18:35]
16. Last Chance [13:13]

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The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent film, but this edition has no subtitles or closed captions. Since the dialog is all marked by Australian or aboriginal accents, the lack may be a serious disadvantage for some viewers. A version with closed captions plays on TCM and may be available elsewhere.