A short film about a horse, possibly featuring the Grim Reaper?
August 5, 2013 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Anybody remember this? A boy rides his horse in the rain, it gets stuck in the mud, the boy screams his horse's name (Philip), a lot, while the figure of Death looks on?

imdb's advanced search gives me nothing. The Goog is not strong with this one.

I saw this thing a few times in elementary school, perhaps as early as kindergarten (so the movie can't have been made later than 1979 at the very latest).

I am pretty sure it's called "Philip" (one l, or two? Don't know). Philip is the name of the (white?) horse.

A boy is riding the horse, I know not whence or where, and it rains. The horse gets stuck in the mud. The Grim Reaper may have made an appearance. The boy tries to get the horse out of the mud, shouting "Philip!" a lot, while the horse struggles, screams, sinks, and (I think) dies. The boy's shouts of "Philip!" are the only words I remember in the whole thing.

It was live-action, it was color, and it was very scary, at least the first time. It didn't occur to me at the time that you might not want to show something so unrelenting about death to a bunch of schoolkids, but in retrospect, it seems a little odd.

Anyhoo, I'd like to know who made it, whether it's available to see anywhere, the usual "patch my shoddy memory of this movie" type things.
posted by Mister Moofoo to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Neverending Story?
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

This sounds like the scene where Atreyu's horse gets eaten by quicksand in The Neverending Story.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2013

Yeah that scene in Neverending Story may well have been so traumatizing that you've forgotten the rest of the feature-length movie that surrounds it. That's certainly the case for me.
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:00 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Atreyu's horse is named Artax. Nothing like Philip, but maybe you're mis-remembering?
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 5:10 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

This definitely sounds like The Neverending Story but it also has elements of Dark and Lonely Water so maybe your memory is sort of squashing the two together?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:14 PM on August 5, 2013

Response by poster: It's definitely not The Neverending Story.

It's its own self-contained thing.

Never saw Dark and Lonely Water before.

Horse was definitely Philip. There was a kid a year ahead of us named Philip, and lots of kids laughed about the name.

I have a weird feeling it may be French, but that may just be me guessing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:57 PM on August 5, 2013

Best answer: It wouldn't be Run wild, run free (1969)? A disturbing film (for children! Popular in schools because it was "redeeming"). The (autistic) boy is the one called Philip and the mother calls his name during a hysterical breakdown when Philip and the white colt get lost in a bog.
posted by saucysault at 6:15 PM on August 5, 2013

Best answer: In addition, Philip, who I believe has been mute the whole film, uses his voice for the first time when the white colt gets trapped in the quagmire - maybe he was shouting his own name and that is why you thought the horse was called Philip? I don't think the white colt is ever given a name in the film.
posted by saucysault at 6:24 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's closer, saucysault, and might be it.
I'll have to try to track it down and see.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:35 PM on August 5, 2013

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Edmund's horse is named Phillip. That other scene with the horse in the mud sure sounds like The Neverending Story. Maybe you are conflating the two movies?
posted by misha at 6:39 PM on August 5, 2013

There are pictures here from the film, including the white colt almost submerged in the bog.
posted by saucysault at 6:48 PM on August 5, 2013

Response by poster: I think saucysault has it. I have to watch it now.

I don't remember seeing the whole movie, though. I wonder if maybe they only showed us a reel or two?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:18 PM on August 5, 2013

This pulled White Mane out of the memory hole. Might not be the right one but it is very powerful in its own right.
posted by ptm at 7:50 PM on August 5, 2013

Best answer: Check out the shots around 3:26 in this compilation from Run Wild, Run Free.

Horse in bog. Looks like the one.
posted by Decani at 4:16 AM on August 6, 2013

Oh, that movie broke my heart. I haven't thought of it since I was 10 years old. I loved it so much. Thank you, saucysalt!
posted by h00py at 5:31 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Decani's link has the clincher. That muddy rope, and poor horsey up to his head in the mud touched the right parts of my brain.

Of course, Netflix streaming doesn't have it. :( I'll have to do some digging.

Thanks, Hive Mind!
posted by Mister Moofoo at 4:46 PM on August 6, 2013

Before I go to watch this, will someone please tell me whether or not the horse actually dies? Because if it does I don't want to see it....
posted by The otter lady at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2013

Thanks to this thread I actually managed to see this movie again. It is certainly of its time, that's for sure. So many feels. The horse scene is right at the very end but there's a bit before that which is pretty devastating.
posted by h00py at 3:38 AM on September 17, 2013

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