Five Favorite Horse Movies
A Beautiful White Horse in Ireland, Named Tir na nog.
Into the West (1993)
This is the DVD for this awesome movie. It was meant for children, perhaps, but I found it very entertaining. The boys in the movie are so loveable!
My Favorite Horse Movie
The movie I choose as my #1 favorite horse movie is also my favorite movie of all time. It is a little-known Irish fantasy about two Traveler (Gypsy) boys living in a dirty tenement in Dublin. When a gorgeous white horse follows their grandfather's Gypsy caravan to their home in Dublin, they fall in love with the horse. (Who wouldn't? I mean... look at her!)
The boys have constantly watched American Western movies on TV and are entranced by the idea of going "Into the West" with the beautiful horse their grandfather named Tír na nÓg. They let the horse move into their crowded tenement! Naturally, the neighbors call the police and the horse is confiscated. All this time their father, a miserable widower, is busy being an alcoholic.
What would you do if you were a little boy and your beloved horse was taken away? Would you mourn? ...cry? ...go look for Tír na nÓg?
Watch the movie to find out.
Personally, I can never get tired of watching this movie for two main reasons: (1) the boys are adorable, especially when they're riding their horse and singing, "Let's go riding on a horse..." and (2) the horse is amazing. There are some great actors and actresses... including Gabriel Byrne (the father) and Ellen Barkin (one of his Gypsy friends), and David Kelly (the grandfather).
The Black Stallion (1979)
This movie is awe-inspiring. Who can forget the visage of that powerful, beautiful horse cavorting on the beach with a little boy as a playmate?
Horse Movie #2 on My List of Favorites
Due to exceptionally beautiful fim of the horse and boy on an incredibly awesome beach, my second favorite horse movie is... The Black Stallion ! The horse is totally gorgeous... they boy is a fine actor. He was chosen for the role because he'd been around horses already, for years. The footage of him running around on the beach trying to tame a spirited wild horse is amazing.
This movie is short on conversation and speech, but big on majesty and mystery. In the beginning, the boy is on a passenger ship off the coast of Africa with his father. The wild black stallion is on board as well, and totally out of control ... were it not for ropes and whips. When the ship suddenly sinks everyone is lost except the boy, who clings to one of the stallion's ropes and is pulled to shore.
To tell more would be to introduce spoilers, so I'll stop here and say... The Black Stallion is worth the time taken to watch it. A priceless, wonderful movie!
Speaking of SPOILERS - there are some in the video below.
The Black Stallion (1979) - Montage of The Black Stallion clips with music from August Rush - another favorite movie!! There are SPOILERS in this video.
Horse Movie #3 on My List of Favorites
Hidalgo ! Did you see that coming? A lot of people I've talked to about horse movies remember Hidalgo .. a very controverisal but awesome horse movie.
The controversy is about whether or not this was a "true story". As you can see in the trailer below, that's what Disney stated at the time of its release in 2004.
Even before the official release date people started writing articles to protest. They said the autobiographical memoirs of Frank T. Hopkins weren't honest, that he made up a lot of his stories. As proof they stated he was never listed as an employee of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and there was never an Ocean of Fire race across Arabia.
Whether true or not, they were fine stories and the movie is truly excellent! In it, Frank Hopkins is invited to race his horse, Hidalgo, in the Ocean of Fire race - 3000 miles across the hot, arid Arabian desert. Plenty of thrills, danger, and excitement... and even a beautiful Arabian woman - daughter of the Sheik.
Frank T. Hopkin's - Memoirs
This book contains the story the movie, Hidalgo, is based on. If you want to know the full story, read a book. Books are your friends.
I see Seabiscuit as the first high quality feature film of the modern era that focuses on a horse. The movie is multi-layered. It isn't just about a horse, but also about an eccentric millionaire, a romance, and the era of the 1930's in America. Really worth watching. More than once.
Horse Movie #4 on My List of Favorites
Next... I'll have to choose Seabiscuit ... a movie about a phenomenal racehorse who won 33 races back in the late 1930s.
The movie is well-produced; the plot and actors are excellent. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this movie. The only reason I didn't place it higher on the list is that I personally prefer wild horses and Westerns.. this one is about a very domesticated and well-bred race horse.
Definitely a must-see whether you like horse movies or not... this is a great evening's entertainment. Also, this one is without a doubt, a true story.
Seabiscuit was a long-shot - an undersized horse who rose to power in the mid-thirties by unexpectedly winning a series of prestigious races in New York and California. Seabiscuit was the people's favorite, bringing hope back to a nation suffering from intense poverty during the depression era.
Seabiscuit was named after his father, Hardtack, who was sired by the mighty Man o'War. Hard Tack was a type of unleavened biscuit sailors used to take to sea during long sailing journeys. Therefore, Seabiscuit = Hard Tack, a biscuit at sea.
The Real Seabiscuit - with jockey George Woolfe
Seabiscuit - the BOOK was very popular too!
Laura Hillenbrand is such an amazing author. She has brought the art of creative non-fiction biographies onto the best seller list because her books are entertaining, deep, well-researched, and a pleasure to read.
Horse Movie #5 on My List of Favorites
I was in awe of War Horse when I first saw it.. on DVD. He was such a brave and beautiful horse with a powerful storyline. It started when Albert Narracott, a teenage boy, saw the foal being born. His father buys the colt and Albert names him Joey and trains him to plow a field although obviously he's not really a field horse.
When the crop fails, Albert's father sells Joey to a calvary officer behind Albert's back. Of course, Albert is devastated, and the calvary officer says he'll bring Joey back after the war if possible. Albert ties his father's regimental pennant to Joey's bridle.
The rest of the movie is about Joey's travels and service during the war. Really emotionally engaging and worth watching. This is a Steven Spielberg film and is beautiful throughout and worth watching.