I’ve followed the making of the film The Legend Of Ben Hall right from its beginning as a proposed short film in 2014. I’ve been interested in Matthew Holmes’ films because he filmed part of one, Twin Rivers, near my old home in Murray Bridge, South Australia which had a number of my friends and acquaintances in it.
Through a small donation to The Legend of Ben Hall’s Kickstarter campaign I was able to hear about the development of the short film, and then when interest was shown in making it a feature film I have followed that also.
If you don’t know the story here is a brief synopsis from the film website:
After two years running from the law, bushranger Ben Hall has gone into hiding, He is soon drawn back into bushranging by the reappearance of his old friend, John Gilbert. Reforming the gang and taking on a new recruit John Dunn, the trio begin a spree of robberies and crimes across New South Wales. After the killing of two policemen, the three become the most wanted men in the colony.
When the Government moves to declare them outlaws that can shot on sight by any person who chooses, Ben Hall makes desperate plans to flee the colony. But with a such a large bounty on their heads, treachery abounds where they least expect it …
It was with great anticipation that I went to see the film last year and loved the attention to detail of the historical accuracy of the story, costumes, sets, and the characters. The story is fast paced with plenty of action and some romance too. The score is beautiful and changes seamlessly from exciting to melancholy as the film progresses. I’m listening to some of it as I write this blog post.
Here is John Gilbert, one of the Hall Gang, I would definitely say he was a villain.
Recently I was looking through New South Wales Police Gazettes for a family tree I am currently working on. (not my own) I came across the following item:
In 1865 the reward was paid out for the capture of John Gilbert. I knew of Ben Hall and his gang before seeing the film and knew that he was a real person and that the characters in the film were real, however finding a record such as this when I’m doing research for a real person brought home to me the reality of the story of Ben Hall and John Gilbert in a way I have never known before with a movie I had seen or a book I had read.
In further news from the film website I’m looking forward to these upcoming movies:
The Legend of Ben Hall is the first film in a planned series by writer-director-producer Matthew Holmes. The screenplays for The Legend of Frank Gardiner and The Legend of John Vane are already complete and in development by Two Tone Pictures and Running Panda Films.
These three companion films will form THE LEGENDS TRILOGY, an epic saga of the New South Wales bushrangers and the first of its kind ever produced in Australia. Each film will be based on authentic history and will immaculately recreate these stories for world-wide audiences. Two Tone Pictures is hoping to start production as early as 2017, with many cast members of The Legend of Ben Hall already set to reprise their roles.