Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ned Kelly

(Austrialia/UK/USA/France, 2003)

Not the 1970 one with Mick Jagger. I never saw that one. This one was made in 2003 and shelved for a while. Heath Ledger plays the Man in the Iron Mask.

It seems to be reasonably realistic, from the little reading I did on the man, though there will always be debate as to whether Kelly was a revolutionary or just a horse thief. You could argue either point. Remember when Jesse James and his gang were folk heroes, and usually portrayed that way in the movies? Then I saw The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, one of my favorite westerns, and Robert Duvall played him as a ruthless criminal hiding behind his folk image, and it was great.

This movie is solidly behind Ned. It begins very well, gritty and realistic. At the end it goes a bit mythic on us, and I have my doubts that the final shoot-out took place at night. I suspect that was done to make it more cinematic, but I can’t prove it.

Not a bad movie, but not a must-see.