Ned Kelly (1970)

"Bad"

Ned Kelly (1970) Review


Don't quote me, but I'm reasonably sure this is the only Australian musical western ever made.

Next week it becomes the only Australian musical western ever remade, with Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts starring.

Why remake Ned Kelly, a widely razzed flop from 1970 about an Aussie criminal no one has ever heard of? You got me. The original Kelly is a disaster in just about every way. But two aspects of this production come to the forefront that make it a particularly big disaster.

First is the star: Mick Jagger. Jagger is about as far from a scrappy Aussie bandit as you can get. With a six-inch-long beard and a silly accent, he doesn't carry us very far. He's stumbling his way through the movie, way out of place and clearly hating himself for ever agreeing to star in this debacle.

Then there's the music. Stones castoffs would've been great. No, what we've got here is a collection of awful tunes penned by Where the Sidewalk Ends scribe Shel Silverstein. Shel's songs are simply atrocious -- endless funeral dirges that repeat the same line over and over, with simplistic tunes and no particular themes to explore aside from telling us what's happening in the movie. One tune in particular, "Blame It on the Kellys," consists primarily of Waylong Jennings intoning the title line over and over again in a folksy manner, for about eight minutes. (Jennings sings most of the tracks, with Kris Kristofferson covering a couple of others; I can't imagine even big fans of these two artists springing for the soundtrack to this.)

Ton Richardson paces this film like an encyclopedia entry on Kelly, dutifully recounting his run from the law, the tragic apprehension of his mother (brought in as a sort of hostage for Kelly's capture), and his selling of moonshine in order to raise money to support his family. The lone point of interest comes at the end, when Kelly and his gang fashion armor that can stop bullets, which they then don to make a stand against the coppers.

Mick Jagger in an iron hat? Sorry, not even that makes Kelly worth the price of admission.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.