who better than a crafty mountain man
It barely matters that The Man from Snowy River is Australian; the messaging fits right in with American films of the time--a lot of masculinity on display in various levels of toxicity, men being men, women being submissive to those men even when they're not. Seriously, Jessica stands up to her father, he hits her, and she runs away and falls off a cliff to be rescued by Jim.
(And, to be fair, as I have learned just now online, Australia also had a part in Vietnam, and in the 70s was undergoing a wave of nationalism.)
And then, there's the overdramatic musical cues which almost ruin the lovely music everywhere else in the film. Brumbies arrive and the music lets us know their dangerous if we can't figure that out from the exposition-filled dialogue. The new Colt gets spooked by a dog and the dramatic musical cues jump in. The Stallion leader of the Brumbies tramples over Jim and we not only get overdramatic musical cues, we get insane freeze-frame closeups.
And, there's Jim yelling "NO!" After his father dies. This movie is full of melodrama and corniness.
But, 1) it still strangely works really well, even after all these years. And 2) I'm actually not in the mood to complain about a film. I spent the day seeing a whole lot of short films (all 15 Oscar nominees plus three of the animated runners up). I've got a couple documentary features (that happen to be on Netflix already), one animated film (that's currently at a theater over in North Hollywood), and two foreign films (at least one of which will be at the Royal in Santa Monica next weekend) and I'll have seen all the Oscar nominees prior to the award ceremony again.
So, it works.