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Storm Boy

Year: 1976
Production Co: South Australian Film Corporation
Director: Henri Safran
Writer: Sonia Borg/Sidney L Stebel/Colin Thiele
Cast: Greg Rowe, David Gulpilil

I defy any Australian born in the 1960s or 1970s not to smile wryly when they hear the name 'Mr Percival'.

But I wonder how many of us remember much else about Frenchman Henri Safran's interpretation of Colin Thiele's beloved book? The easiest way to describe the film to anyone not from the Antipodes is to say that's a similar idea to that of Disney's Old Yeller.

I remember most film plots, but I haven't seen this since I was about ten so I feel like you could forgive me for forgetting the finer points of the plot. It's a story about a young boy (Rowe) and the son of a small time fisherman who finds his soul when he connects with a local aborigine (Gulpilil) who's embraced his tribal ways and a pelican with an excess of personality called Mr Percival.

It's sweet and beautiful, the sort of cultural event Australia considered a watershed in 1976 but probably wouldn't make much of a dent today.

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