The Man returns to the big screen

Tom Burlinson has carved out a career predominantly with his singing voice in recent years but he is still known for his first film.

It’s more than 40 years since Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thorton rode across Australian and world screens and into cinema history in The Man From Snowy River.

Little did Tom realise that his first movie role would be what he was best remembered for despite a long successful career and that 42 years later he would still be talking about it – in front an audience no less.

On April 20, the movie will come to the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, screening on the big screen with Tom and his co-star Sigrid Thorton reminiscing before-hand about their experiences making the film and a full live symphony orchestra playing behind the movie.

“The movie changed my life, obviously,” Tom said.

“I was a young actor, I did acting school, I’d worked in television and in the theatre. Then I was cast in my first movie – the title role.

“We didn’t know, when we were making it, how successful it would become. It was the number one box office movie in the country, it was the most successful movie ever released in Australia – not just for an Australian film but any film. That was unheard of at the time. It led to lots of other work, and it led to lots of people being aware of me. It changed my life.

“Even after all these years and all that I’ve done in show business in the time since I was released, it’s still the single piece of work for which I’m best known.”

“And I’ve done some pretty cool things since.”

He said Man From Snowy River was still much beloved even all these years later – something that he and Sigrid Thorton have found, particularly since touring with the movie in this new format.

Tom said he thought it really made sense to present the movie this way when he was first approached about it last year.

“It came up for me last year when a producer named Phil Bathols told me that there is a process now whereby they can take the music off the track of a movie, leaving the dialogue and the sound effects,” he said.

“The idea was they were going to screen the Man From Snowy River on the big screen with a symphony orchestra playing Bruce Rowlands amazing score live in sync with the movie.

“I’d heard that this had been done for some Bond films but as far as I know it had never been done for an Australian film and of course the music from the movie is much-loved.

“It kind of made sense.

“They put three shows on sale at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne and immediately they were sold out, so they put a fourth on sale and that was sold out. Hamer Hall is a big venue.

“They asked Sigrid and I to come and kick things off by just sharing some memories that we have of the time we spent making the film, just for 20 minutes or so.

“We did that, and it was a huge success – the whole thing.

“It’s now gone on to six shows in Sydney, can you believe – three sold out at the Opera House and three more at the Darling Harbour Theatre and now Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane.

“It’s just extraordinary after all these years that here’s a new of presenting the movie that has been taken to the hearts of people as the film and the music always have been.”

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