Hammers Over the Anvil

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"An aristocratic Englishwoman, an Australian horseman and a young boy on a journey towards the exciting but forbidden world of adults."
  • NR
  • 1991
  • 5.6  (631)

Hammers Over the Anvil is a 1993 Australian drama film that tells the story of a young boy named Alan Marshall who becomes friends with a glamorous horse trainer named Grace McAlister in a small outback town in the 1920s. The film stars Charlotte Rampling as Grace McAlister, Russell Crowe as East Driscoll - a local horseman, and Alexander Outhred as the young Alan Marshall. The movie was directed by Australian filmmaker Ann Turner, and it was based on a memoir by Alan Marshall himself.

The film begins with a young Alan Marshall playing with his dogs and exploring the Australian countryside. Alan has a disability that affects his legs, but he is a curious and determined young boy nonetheless.

One day, Alan meets Grace McAlister, a woman who has come to the town to train horses for an upcoming race. Grace is beautiful, confident and worldly - everything that Alan dreams of being. She takes Alan under her wing, and soon he becomes her apprentice, learning more about horses and the racing world from Grace.

East Driscoll is a local horseman and a rival of Grace McAlister. He sees her as a threat to his own chances of winning the race and tries to sabotage her efforts at every turn. However, Grace is determined to succeed, and with Alan's help, she trains her horses to perfection.

As their friendship develops, Grace and Alan become very close. However, their relationship is not without its own set of challenges. Grace is a married woman, and Alan is just a young boy coming of age. This leads to some tension between them, and it becomes unclear whether their friendship will ever turn into something more.

Hammers Over the Anvil is a beautifully shot film, with sweeping Australian landscapes and an evocative score. The film explores the themes of friendship, love, and loss, as well as the challenges of living with a physical disability in an era when such conditions were not well understood.

The performances in the film are excellent, with Charlotte Rampling giving a standout performance as Grace. She manages to convey both the strength and vulnerability of her character, and her scenes with Russell Crowe's East Driscoll are particularly powerful.

Russell Crowe is also excellent in his role as the rugged horseman. He brings a sense of intensity and danger to the film, making the character of East Driscoll both menacing and intriguing.

Finally, Alexander Outhred is perfect as the young Alan Marshall. He captures the spirit of the character, and his scenes with Rampling are particularly moving.

Overall, Hammers Over the Anvil is a beautifully crafted film that tells a poignant coming-of-age story. With its stunning cinematography, excellent performances, and evocative score, it is a must-see for fans of Australian cinema.

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    5.6  (631)