The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith


The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is a shocking indictment of the racism inflicted on the Indigenous people of Australia.

Jimmie is a half-white, half-Indigenous young man raised by a Methodist minister. Feeling outcast among the Aboriginal people, 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 honour, Jimmie marries her and is allowed to live with her on the estate.

But after the child is born, everyone realises that the father was a white man, not Jimmie; he is still willing to accept the child and stand by 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.



Tommy Lewis - Jimmie Blacksmith
Freddy Reynolds - Mort
Angela Punch-McGregor - Gilda
Ray Barrett - Constable Farrell
Steve Dodds - Tabidgi
Jack Thompson - Rev. Neville
Julie Dawson - Mrs. Neville
Tim Robertson - Healy
Jane Harders - Mrs. Healy
Peter Carroll - McCready
Robyn Nevin - Mrs. McCready
Don Crosby - Mr. Newby
Rose Lilley - Jane Newby
Katie Lilley - Vera Newby
Peter Sumner - Dowie Stead
Ray Meagher - Dud Edmonds
Brian Anderson - Hyberry
Rob Steele - Claude Lewis
Thomas Keneally - Cook
Bryan Brown - Kelly
Release dates
1978 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
May 16th, 1994 (** very rare **)
Best Actress (Angela Punch McGregor), Best Supporting Actor (Ray Barrett), Best Original Music Score (1978 20th Australian Film Awards)
R18+ - Restricted
New Yorker Films, Hoyts Distribution
Bruce Smeaton

Based on the novel by Thomas Keneally (1972), which was in turn inspired by actual events.

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.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, <>, retrieved 13 July 2020

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