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Bitter Springs [DVD]

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tommy Trinder, Chips Rafferty, Gordon Jackson, Jean Blue, Michael Pate
  • Directors: Ralph Smart
  • Producers: Michael Balcon
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 19 July 2010
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003PHJLDC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,451 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Post-war, Australian-set Western made by Ealing Studios. Tommy Trinder stars as a down-on-his-luck performer turned stockman, who is called in to smooth things over after white settlers, led by Wally King (Chips Rafferty), encroach upon sacred Aboriginal ground.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Why buy this obscure and largely forgotten film? Because it was a genuine attempt to say something serious about the violent history of settlers and aborigines in Australia. It's not perfect. The comic relief by Tommy Trinder is a case in point! But it tried to show to British audiences in the post-war years something they would probably have never have otherwise known about: what happened to the indigenous population when white settlers moved into the Australian outback.

Sure, the acting's a bit creaky in parts, and the ending is sort of bizarre (there's a story that Ralph Smart was forced to change his dark ending which included the massacre of the indigenous tribe for a happy ending in order to get government approval to shoot the movie), but along the way it is a real insight into what British film makers (including Australian expats like Ralph Smart) thought about serious topics like colonialism. And along the way, you get some great performances from Chips Rafferty (as the hardened settler who can only see "his" way), Michael Pate (as the frontier ranger who understands only too well what will happen to the Aborigines when the settlers move in), and Gordon Jackson (as the sensitive Scot who tries to see both sides of the story). Hey, even Tommy Trinder isn't too bad!

It's a product of its time, and a real insight into that time. And that's why you should buy it.
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Something of an oddity, this film was made in 1949 near Quorn South Australia not far from where I was born and went to school. It was mainly for nostalgic purposes that I bought it. However, for fans of Chips Rafferty. the young Gordon Jackson or the (rather miscast( Tommy Trinder, it would have special appeal. However it is not in the same class as The Ladykillers or a number of other post-war Ealing productions.

It begins very well showing the hardships of the early settlers but latterly it loses its way, partly due to scripting reason and partly because the presentation of the conflicts between the white settlers and the aborigines is confused. But it does have the benefit of a film score by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Something of a hotchpotch but still an interesting example of early Australian film making shining a light upon its settlement history. Whether you like it or not may well depend upon your particular interests.
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This movie was made a long time ago. I remember seeing it at a Saturday afternoon matinee. Those were the days when we could go to a theatre, pay two shillings (20 cents), sit in the stalls and watch.....first a latest newsreel, then a serial, then an interval break. go outside, buy a single icecream for one shilling (10 cents), or a double for 20 cents. The go back into our seats, watch a movie short, then a cartoon, then the movie....all for 20 cents.My! How times have changed. But, thankfully, the movie hasn't.
With that Australian icon, the late "Chips" Rafferty, once again in the staring role of an Australian movie, we knew we were going to see the REAL Australian outback. Perhaps most Aussie movies portray a lot of scenes of the outback.This movie is a winner for overseas people to see the real outback as it was years ago. I have given it 3 stars, not because it lacks in anything...it doesn't, but because it's in black and white.But the viewer should not hold that against the quality and story of the movie. I may be biased because I'm an Australian and Chips Rafferty has always been one of my favourite old time actors.Buy it. You will enjoy it.
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Here we have another excellent film set in Australia's outback, again featuring Chips Rafferty. It deals with the subject of white farmers buying a tract of land on which a local aboriginal tribe have lived for centuries. There are troubles over the land and water on which they all need for survival. Made at a time when attitudes towards the indiginous population were not so enlightened as they are today. A really enjoyable film from a different era, highly recommended.
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