Pamela Connellan


Buckley’s Chance is a classic film about a boy and a dog

Buckley’s Chance is a classic film about a boy and a dog

In a classic tradition, Buckley’s Chance is a film which explores the close relationship between a boy and his dingo in outback Australia – and Bill Nighy comes along for the ride.

Filmed in Broken Hill, Buckley’s Chance was in cinemas in June of this year but you can now stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

Well-known British actor, Bill Nighy plays a leading role alongside Milan Burch who plays the role of the young boy, Ridley. And yes – there’s a new screen star – the dingo called Buckley.

After the loss of his father, Ridley is forced to move to the Australian outback to live with his estranged Grandfather (Nighy). While exploring the outback, Ridley becomes lost and befriends a dingo excluded from its own pack. A strong bond is formed as the two try to make their way home.

Based on the Aussie slang – “You’ve got Buckley’s”

The phrase – “You’ve got Buckley’s” is a much-used piece of Aussie slang and it refers to a convict called William Buckley who escaped in Victoria in 1803 and lived among the Aborigines there for the next 30 years.

At the time, it was thought no-one could ever survive in the Australian bush on their own and this is how the term “Buckley’s” came about.

As Ridley’s grandfather, Spencer (played by Nighy) is trying to run a sheep station and he doesn’t really need his son’s grieving widow and her son around, complicating his life.

But guilt over his estranged son forces Spencer to make an effort, teach the kid a little outback survival and lore. He even pulls out his gun every time he sees a dingo and aims at them.

Ridly is horrified and asks him why he’s shooting a dog.

“They may look like a dog, Ridley, but they’re more wolf than dog,” says Spencer.

The kid isn’t convinced. So, when the chance comes to rescue a fine specimen of the breed trapped in a fence, he makes a new friend. He names it after grandpa’s ranch, “Buckley’s Chance”.

As this all happens, we see some lovely and exotic outback scenery.

On the negative side, Nighy’s Aussie accent isn’t too good, so it’s up to the other supporting actors to get that right.

Still, this is a sentimental and kid-friendly movie. The film’s other well-known actors include Kelton Pell, Victoria Hill and Martin Sacks.

Overall, Buckley’s Chance is a thrilling tale for all the family about fun, friendship and family.

Buckley’s Chance showed in Australian cinemas in June of this year and now you can rent it from Amazon Prime Video for $6.99.

Photos and Video: Transmission Films and YouTube