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Did you break in more than the colt while you were up on that muster? Did you have to use your spurs, boy?
~ Curly taunting Jim.

Curly is the main antagonist of the 1982 Australian live action film The Man from Snowy River, which is based on the 1890 poem by the late Banjo Patterson. He is an English farmhand who works for Harrison and is Jim Craig's rival. He is the boss of Moss.

He was portrayed by Chris Haywood.

Biography

Curly is the incompetent stationhand who works for Harrison and despises Jim. He first meets Jim when he starts working at a barn. He tells him that he's planning to be a supervisor as he drops his cigarette, lighting the hay on fire, but Jim puts it out. He then watches over as Jim teaches Jessica how to tie a horse by using the tomfools' knot.

The following night, Curly plays cards with Moss and Frew as Jim comes in. As they talk about the legendary horseman Clancy, Jim tells them that his father worked with Clancy, but Curly insults him.

While Clancy and Harrison are having a conversation together, Curly comes over and lies to Jim about his horse saddle that it came from a circus. Curly is also delighted to know that Jim won't be allowed to go up the mountain to work with Spur. Curly then taunts Jim and leaves with the other cattlemen to go up the mountain.

Later, when Jessica goes missing, Harrison and his riders go out to find her. Kane wakes up the other workers at the station, but Curly is too drunk and passed out to help them.

Later, when a drunken Curly returns to the bunkhouse with Moss, he taunts Jim about Jessica and they engage in a fight. Moss attacks Jim and Curly tries to stab him with a broken bottle, but Frew stops him. He tries to do things on hand, but Jim kicks him in the groin, allowing him to defeat Moss and push him out the window. Curly tries to fight back, but Jim easily defeats him and knocks him unconscious. He later sets Harrison's colt loose, which is worth 1,000 lbs, hoping that Harrison would blame Jim for it and get rid of him.

Harrison hires Clancy and the other riders to get the colt back and reluctantly takes in Jim as well. During the chase, Curly spots Jim going down a different path and chases him. He tries to steal the whip from Jim and takes the bridle off his horse's head before falling off his horse in a river. Jim and the other riders cross the river, while Curly is left behind. This is the last time Curly is shown in the film, so it can be assumed that Curly had lost his job for Harrison.

Personality

Curly is an extremely greedy, selfish, arrogant, stupid, incompetent and mean-spirited man who hates Jim Craig. He jeers at Jim, cheats at cards, smokes in the stables, and eventually sets free the colt that was worth a thousand pounds, so that Harrison will blame Jim for it after a fight in the bunkhouse when Curly is joshing Jim about Jessica. Curly sees Jim as an inferior horseman even after displaying superior skills, and is prevented from helping to drive cattle through the mountains despite being from the mountains himself. He is described by Jim as having the mind of a gutter rat. Despite his incompetence, he is admired by Harrison to be a good worker with horses, as Jessica reveals that he does the horse breaking.

Quotes

(Jim Craig: Oh, g'day. I'm Jim Craig.) Pretty good at shoveling that, aren't yeh. Pretty smart for a mountain fella. Uses the flat end and everything. Yeh. Live like bandicoots up in the hills. You digging for grubs there, Bandicoot? (Jim Craig: Haven't they given you the day off?) I'm studying to be supervisor. [drops cigarette on the hay, lighting it on fire] (Jim Craig: Studying to be stupid.) [Jim puts it out] Morning, Ms. Jessica. (Jessica: Morning.) I'll get Kip out for you and set her up. (Jessica: No, thank you.) Well I'll be about my duty miss. Getting the hang of it, son? Keep it up, I'll be back latter to check on your work.
~ Curly about Jim Craig's work.
(Jim Craig: Uh, which bed's mine?) Anyone that doesn't buck you off, boy. (Frew: That one's empty, son. It's yours if you want it. And you can keep your saddle in the tack room.) Yeah, you can stop there yourself if you like. (Frew: Grow up, Curly.) Drop dead, you old fart. (Moss: Watch your tongue, boy... while you've still got one.) Deal the cards, boss. (Shorty, Uh, two.) They're starting the High Country muster in a couple of days. Gonna be an early winter, according to Kane. (Moss: Huh?) Yep. (Shorty: I thought Harrison controlled the seasons.) (Frew: I reckon the boss will hold the muster until Clancy gets here.) Well, who's he, then? Some kind of top rider, this Clancy bloke? (Frew: No, he's no rider. He's a horseman.) (Moss: Yeh Curly, look at this.) Well, what's so special about Clancy, then? (Frew: I told you, he's a horseman. "Horseman"? Clancy's not just a horseman. Clancy's a magician. He's a genius.) (Jim Craig: I've met him. When I was young. He and my father were mates.) Mates? Bullshit! Mates! Mates. Wouldn't have a bloody mate to save his life! Oh, sorry, Your Honor. Mates! Sorry, beg your pardon, Your Honor. Mates with Clancy, eh?
~ Curly playing cards with his friends while mocking Jim.
Here, last time I saw a saddle like that, it was at the circus, you know? Had a monkey riding on it! (Jim Craig: Where's your rope, Curly? Give up?)
~ Curly insulting Jim about his saddle.
Don't forget to feed the chooks, Bandicoot. Bawk, bawk, bawk!
~ Curly taunting Jim after getting excluded by Kane to help drive the cattle through the mountain.
That horse is worth 1,000 lbs, Moss. Do you know how much money that is, eh? Do you know how much money? (Moss: Oh yeah.) That's more than you'd earn in a lifetime working for that prig, Harrison. (Moss: Yeah.) Well, I'm gonna fix him! [sets the colt free] Yeah! That fixed him! (Moss: Who?) Bandicoot, you idiot. They'll think he did that.
~ Curly setting Harrison's colt loose to get rid of Jim.
Wait for me!
~ Curly's last line.

Gallery

Trivia

  • When Curly pulls the bridle off Jim's horse, it's back in place in the next shot, but it's pulled down again and Jim stops to fix it.
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