Looking for movies with, about, by, or for horses.
January 1, 2014 2:04 PM   Subscribe

So I'm seeing this Totally Awesome Guy and it's great. TAG loves movies. TAG loves horses. Help me find the best intersections of these two things?

What I'm looking for is pretty simple, I think? I'd like to surprise him with some movies and/or TV shows that involve horses somehow. Here's what I'm looking for:

1) Hopefully something we'd both like--our tastes have aligned on: A Fish Called Wanda, LOTR, Safe House, Spaceballs, Jurassic Park, The Warrior, GOT, and he also likes some pretty fluffy stuff (Think Lindsay Lohan, Legally Blonde, those sorts of films). I'm fine though if it's something he'll really like, so throw out any ideas you have.

2) That feature horses. Can be anything from a really good documentary to just really great examples of horsemanship on screen, to movies specifically dealing with subjects equine. Westerns might be iffy unless the horses and ridership are awesome, and TV shows are great too.

3) And aren't: Seabiscuit, War Horse, Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Equus, or Inter/National Velvet; already owned or on the list. Also not that show on HBO or wherever about racing that was cancelled recently. They mistreated the horses.

Bonus points for not very (or at all) scary/gory.

Thanks, hivemind!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (39 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Horse Whisperer.
posted by Ferrari328 at 2:11 PM on January 1, 2014

Three films with memorable horse performances:

The Misfits - John Huston

Andrei Rublev - Andrei Tarkovsky

Protection Against Fanatics - Werner Herzog (short)
posted by King_Wang at 2:12 PM on January 1, 2014

posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:12 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ben Hur
posted by brookeb at 2:17 PM on January 1, 2014

posted by ceribus peribus at 2:20 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Marx Brothers movie A Day at the Races?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:28 PM on January 1, 2014

The Man from Snowy River has some pretty epic horsey scenes. The trailer makes it sound like a cheeseball romance, and I haven't seen it as an adult, but it's heavy on the horse action.
posted by redsparkler at 2:30 PM on January 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Buck was quite an interesting documentary about a guy similar to "the horse whisperer." (The real one, not the dramatized character played by Robert Redford.)
posted by maxim0512 at 2:30 PM on January 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

The Man from Snowy River?

Ah, upon preview I see redsparkler rec's it -- but you can read up on it at this link.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:31 PM on January 1, 2014

Best answer: A couple of modern westerns might work:

Brokeback Mountain: Ennis and Jack ride horses as part of their job. It's also an incredibly romantic film. Also, just excellent all around.

True Grit
posted by bluedaisy at 2:34 PM on January 1, 2014

It has been decades since I've seen it, but I seem to recall Miracle of the White Stallions having good horsemanship (plus the typical Disney cheese-quotient).
posted by sardonyx at 2:36 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken maybe?
posted by foxfirefey at 2:37 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another western! Legends of the Fall -- Brad Pitt with long hair on a horse!

Legends of the Fall is great because it's got incredibly gorgeous scenery and you'll be horrified at yourself while sobbing over the love story.
posted by bluedaisy at 2:39 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Racing movie recommendations from The Blood Horse's Steve Haskin. Plus a discussion about good horse movies in the comments
posted by sardonyx at 2:39 PM on January 1, 2014

The Outlaw Josey Wales - Josey Wales is on the run, so a lot of the movie takes place on horseback. I'm sure that could describe a lot of Westerns, but this is one of my favorite movies and considered a classic.

Seconding True Grit, the Coen Bros. version. As with all their movies, the cinematography is gorgeous. I could watch True Grit with the sound off.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:41 PM on January 1, 2014

Electric Horseman. A little dated but some pretty horse running...
posted by Cocodrillo at 2:54 PM on January 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Into the West

Nature has a gorgeous documentary on wild horses-- Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies. Not sure if you can watch it online where you are but it is on DVD.

If you're really on a quest, you could hunt down the classic 60s Lippizzaner series The White Horses.

Ladyhawke isn't technically a horse movie but man are there gorgeous horses in it. Also a lovely cheesy romantic movie to curl up with!

Big seconds to Man From Snowy River and Buck.
posted by Erasmouse at 3:09 PM on January 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Possibly Phar Lap, if you can find it.

The documentary about John Henry (John Henry: A Steel-Driving Race Horse), also if you can find it.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:15 PM on January 1, 2014

Seconding Buck. Definitely will make you love horses even more if you didn't already. Plus an amazing guy.
posted by bquarters at 3:16 PM on January 1, 2014

Thirding Buck if he's at all into the reality of horses. Brannaman is an absolutely amazing rider as well as a gentleman. Wild Horse Redemption is about the BLM prison program matching mustangs and prisoners for training to make the horses more likely to obtain good homes.

Also seconding Phar Lap.

There's an old movie called Snowman that's a true story about a horse bought out of the canner lot that turned into a Grand Champion jumper.

Electric Horseman, Hildago (although it's NOT true)
War Horse, I love Into the West, although some people considered it a kids movie. There are some lovely scenes with the horse.

Everybody into horses has to watch Man from Snowy River and Return to Snowy River. It's just iconic, even if the stories are bleah. It's all about the horses.

There's the old, old movie Smoky, based on James Smoky, the Cowhorse, that is an absolute classic.

Shergar, again based on a true story, is about a champion race horse abducted by IRA terrorists, then rescued by an orphaned boy.

Dances with Wolves has some fun horse scenes.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:37 PM on January 1, 2014

White Mane by Albert Lamorisse, the director of The Red Balloon.
posted by cazoo at 3:47 PM on January 1, 2014

Horse channel.com has a list of the 30 best horse movies.

A true tale about the Irish Thoroughbred who was kidnapped by the IRA and never seen again.
posted by JujuB at 3:47 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I meant to mention that some of the horsewomen I went to see Horse Whisperer with did NOT like the way the accident was done, and weren't comfortable with the scenes of the traumatized horse. Didn't bother me, and all is well at the end, but YMMV as to whether you think it is too gory.

If you like old movies and Morgans, the old movie Justin Morgan had a horse is fun.

The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit is a cute and kind of funny film. There's Long Shot and Casey's Shadow.

One of my favorite movies was a sleeper called Bite the Bullet. A horse dies in the end, and it's pretty graphic, so it might not be your cup of tea.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:51 PM on January 1, 2014

JujuB is right about Shergar being never seen again (they think the kidnappers couldn't handle him and shot him) but the movie has a boy rescue him.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:55 PM on January 1, 2014

Nthing Buck and Phar Lap. You might have already seen it, but for my money the Clive Owen King Arthur has some of the most beautifully filmed horses of any film ever.

I also liked the horses in both Young Guns and the cheesy-but-awesome tv series The Young Riders.

And this isn't a movie (but should be!) but if he's a read The Great Black Jockeys is a fantastic look at a mostly-forgotten aspect of American horse racing.
posted by TwoStride at 3:59 PM on January 1, 2014

Hot to Trot
posted by Tanizaki at 4:04 PM on January 1, 2014

Eagle's Wing is a good one with Martin Sheen.

There's one called either The Horsemen or The Horseman that's set in Iran or Afganistan about the sport of buzkashi that has some great scenes, but again, you may think it's a bit to realistic, as it's a pretty volatile game.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:05 PM on January 1, 2014

Also nthing Buck - gorgeous cinematography, very inspiring. Just a warning on the no scare/gore - there is one horse at the training seminar who lashes out and bites someone. It doesn't come out of nowhere and it's not gory (just a little bloody) but, it will probably make you jump even when you know it's coming. Also, expect to cry.

How about Ladyhawke? Rutger Hauer, Matthew Broderick, & Michelle Pfeiffer spend vast portions of the movie tromping around on a horse (Goliath).
posted by oh yeah! at 4:05 PM on January 1, 2014

The Horse Boy is a doc about a man trying to help his autistic son.

Movies were made of Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind.
posted by brujita at 4:13 PM on January 1, 2014

There's a Canadian series called Heartland about a family horse ranch in Alberta that's available on Netflix and ... hey, you're in Canada--it's still in production so you can get caught up and then watch current episodes!
posted by drlith at 4:21 PM on January 1, 2014

After rereading this to see what I want to watch again and what I might have missed, I noticed The Misfits listed above. You may want to skip that one. There's scenes in which the wild horses are run to exhaustion in front of a vehicle, after which they are roped, tied to tires, thrown, and generally man-handled. There was an investigation regarding actual animal cruelty at one point.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:26 PM on January 1, 2014

Dreamer. Yes, it looks cheesy, but it's seriously charming.

Also, yes, Buck, but I am really sensitive to sad horse stuff and I wish someone had warned me that there is an unhappy situation with one horse. You don't see anything happen to it, but it really upset me.

And yes, Into the West is wonderful.
posted by OolooKitty at 5:52 PM on January 1, 2014

Response by poster: Hey wow, you guys are fucking awesome. I think I have Christmas and birthday presents sewn up until approximately 2040. Thank you!

There's a Canadian series called Heartland

Unfortunately that show is terrible :/ I like the guy, but nothing short of radical surgery is going to make me sit through another episode. He'd love the shit out of it though so maybe..
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:23 PM on January 1, 2014

Buck was excellent. There is one truly dangerous horse and he handles that situation appropriately. Someone does get injured by that horse in the film. It is sad, though, as OolooKitty says. Be warned about that and be ready. Not the horse's fault that he's turned out that way, of course, and you see that pretty clearly.

I agree The Horse Whisperer is very good - especially since the person (Robert Redford) making the film fixed/changed the utterly ridiculous things that were in the book. I was not going to watch the movie after having read the book but I read an article in a horse magazine about how he had fixed those things and I loved the movie. The only time in my life I preferred the movie over the book.

Seconding (or whatever) Dreamer. I thought it was wonderful.

I don't think anyone mentioned Ruffian. I haven't seen it but I read the book and I wanted to mention that it does not end well for the horse.

Phar Lap is another that does not have what you'd call a happy ending.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 8:43 PM on January 1, 2014

I forgot about the accident scene in the beginning of The Horse Whisperer. Just zip through it with the remote - that's what I did. I have no idea how scary or gory it is because I could not watch it. I skipped that part in the book, too... The rest of it is much easier on the nerves.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 8:50 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've always loved Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. It's animated, and the main character is a wild horse.
posted by visual mechanic at 12:14 AM on January 2, 2014

I've not seen it for a while but I remember liking Champions, that tells the true story of jockey Bob Champion's comeback after cancer
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:54 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mantracker! It's lots of fun and the mantracker is on horseback the whole time.
posted by yawper at 10:11 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

OP, if you are going to watch The Horse Whisperer and Buck, you should probably watch them in that order. I stumbled upon Buck on cable mid-movie and was hooked. I watched Horse Whisperer because of how much I loved Buck, and found it pretty meh in comparison.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:44 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Why am I allergic to Captain America?   |   Android VPN experiences/suggestions? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.