The Mango Tree

Watch The Mango Tree

  • NR
  • 1977
  • 89 hr
  • 6.9  (103)

The movie The Mango Tree from 1977 is a heartwarming story about a young boy coming of age in rural Australia. The film's main character, Jamie (played by Christopher Pate), is a sixteen-year-old boy who has just finished high school and is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Set in the 1950s, the movie explores themes of family, love, and loss while showcasing the beauty of the Australian countryside.

The movie opens with Jamie returning home from boarding school, excited to reunite with his family and friends. He is eager to leave behind the rigid structure of school and enjoy the freedom of summer. Jamie's parents, played by Geraldine Fitzgerald and John Meillon, run a farm and are pleased to have him home. However, they are concerned about his future plans, as they want him to take over the farm.

Jamie's childhood friend, Tony (played by filmmaker John Duigan), is also back in town and has plans to move to Sydney to pursue his dreams. In contrast, Jamie is content to stay home and work on the farm. The two friends have a strained relationship throughout the movie as they struggle to understand each other's choices.

One of the movie's most memorable characters is Mr. Morrissey (played by Robert Helpmann), Jamie's elderly neighbor who lives on an adjacent property. Mr. Morrissey is a retired schoolteacher and a bibliophile with a vast collection of books. Despite his gruff exterior, Mr. Morrissey takes Jamie under his wing and helps him prepare for his upcoming university exams. The two men bond over their love of literature and develop a deep friendship.

Throughout the film, Jamie experiences many firsts, including his first love interest, a local girl named Lorna (played by Diane Fuller). Lorna is a carefree spirit who challenges Jamie to explore new experiences and question his assumptions. Their relationship is complicated by class differences and family expectations, but Jamie is determined to make it work.

The Mango Tree is a thought-provoking movie that explores Australian identity and rural life. The film paints a vivid picture of a bygone era, with its detailed depictions of farming practices, small town culture, and the inherent struggles of growing up. The movie's lush cinematography captures the beauty of the Australian landscape and lends a sense of authenticity to the story.

At its core, The Mango Tree is a story about family and the generational divide. Jamie’s parents are traditionalists who want him to follow in their footsteps, while Jamie yearns for a life of his own making. The tension between Jamie and his parents is palpable, and the movie does an excellent job of highlighting the difficulties of navigating family dynamics. Despite their disagreements, however, Jamie's parents love him deeply and want the best for him.

The Mango Tree is a well-acted and thought-provoking film that stands out as a gem in Australian cinema. Its nuanced exploration of familial relationships and coming of age themes will resonate with audiences of all ages. The montages were particularly creative and conveyed Jamie's feelings effectively without dialogue. The writing was strong and the pacing kept the story moving at a good pace. Despite being over 40 years old, The Mango Tree remains a relevant and enjoyable movie viewing experience. Overall, The Mango Tree is a must-watch for fans of coming-of-age dramas that are looking for an engaging and well-written story.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    89 hr
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (103)