20 Horse Movies for Every Equestrian Aficionado
Everyone adores horses, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that there are tons of movies starring these beautiful creatures. From beloved pets to speed demons on the track, there are numerous equine-centric films that have won our hearts throughout the history of Hollywood. What are you waiting for? Stop horsing around and check out these 20 movies about horses that'll have you saying "yay," not "neigh."
The fifth film adaptation of Anna Sewell's 1877 novel of the same name, 1994's Black Beauty was the directorial debut of Caroline Thompson. The best part of this film? The lovable Alan Cumming serves as a narrator and is the voice of the titular horse whose life is the subject of the entire story.
The Black Stallion
Carroll Ballard's 1979 film The Black Stallion—which earned two Oscar nominations—is based on the children's novel of the same name by Walter Farley. It follows Alec Ramsey, who gets shipwrecked on a deserted island with a wild Arabian stallion. The two become friends and enter a race challenging two champion horses.
All The Pretty Horses
Horses admittedly take a backseat in terms of the storytelling of 2000's All the Pretty Horses, directed by Billy Bob Thornton and based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Matt Damon plays a cowboy who falls for a wealthy rancher's daughter, played by Penélope Cruz—what's more to love?
Another film on this list, The Horse Whisperer, hired the man in this 2011 documentary as the lead equine consultant: Buck Brannaman. Here, we learn about the the real-life horse whisperer whose goal in life is to get people to communicate with horses via leadership and sensitivity, not punishment.
The Derby Stallion
In 2005's The Derby Stallion, Zac Efron stars as a wayward teen who—as perceived by a former champion jockey (Bill Cobbs)—has a gift around horses and is able to realize that talent. Bet you didn't know about this Efron gem!
The Electric Horseman
Directed by Sydney Pollack, 1979's The Electric Horseman stars Robert Redford as a championship rodeo star who, after becoming a breakfast cereal spokesperson, runs away with the company's race horse—aptly named Rising Star. Jane Fonda plays a television reporter chasing down this wild story.
Loosely based on Mary O'Hara's 1941 novel for kids titled My Friend Flicka, 2006's Flicka is about a little girl (Alison Lohman) who finds a wild mustang she claims as her own and sets out to tame in the attempt to prove to her parents, played by Tim McGraw and Maria Bello, that she is ready to take over the family ranch.
Viggo Mortensen stars as legendary American distance rider Frank Hopkins in 2004's Hidalgo. Hidalgo is the beloved mustang owned by Hopkins and the film depicts the duo's racing adventures in Arabia back in 1891 and how they went up against pure-blooded Arabian horses.
The Horse Whisperer
Directed by and starring Robert Redford, 1998's The Horse Whisperer features the auteur as a horse trainer who has an amazing gift for understanding creatures of the equine persuasion. Redford's character is hired to help an injured teen (Scarlett Johansson) ride once again after experiencing a tragedy. The song "A Safe Place to Fall" garnered the film's only Oscar nomination.
Cinema legend Stanley Kubrick's 1956 film The Killing centers around a racetrack heist of $2 million that is set to happen as the favorite racehorse is murdered as a distraction. This is a gritty noir option if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.
The Man From Snowy River
Based on a Banjo Paterson poem of the same name, George T. Miller's The Man From Snowy River from 1982 starred Kirk Douglas in a dual role as the owners of a cattle ranch. We follow a young man who seeks a job there after experiencing a tragedy in the hopes of taking over the family business.
We all know Elizabeth Taylor as one of the biggest stars Hollywood has ever produced, but 1944's National Velvet gives us a look at this talent in the early years. It was nominated for five Oscars (winning two) and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 2003.
This one isn't exactly about a horse—it's about a zebra who thinks it's a horse. We're talking about 2005's Racing Stripes, which stars the vocal talents of Frankie Muniz as the central zebra character and Hayden Panettiere as the teen who dreams of riding horseback.
A seven-time Oscar nominee, 2003's Seabiscuit is loosely based on the race horse of the same name. After experiencing some success on the track, Seabiscuit became a media darling during the Great Depression. Come for the underdog story and stay to see Tobey Maguire (who plays Seabiscuit's jockey) bond with a hero horse.
Disney put its hoof print in equine cinema with 2010's Secretariat, which chronicles the epic career of a race horse of the same name that won the Triple Crown in 1973—the first in 25 years. It stars Diane Lane as Secretariat's owner, who navigates the male-dominated industry, and John Malkovich as its trainer.
Something To Talk About
Lasse Hallström's 1995 film Something to Talk About—written by Callie Khouri—is about a woman named Grace (Julia Roberts) who, after finding out she has a cheating husband, moves home with her kid to the horse farm owned by her parents.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Kids will absolutely love 2002's Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron—a DreamWorks film that was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and served as the directorial debuts for Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook. Matt Damon narrates the film as Spirit, but the horses communicate via sounds and body language in lieu of dialogue.
Steven Spielberg's 2011 war drama—aptly titled War Horse—is the latest adaptation of a work that began as a novel, became a play, and finally a film. It's unique in that we see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of a horse named Joey. This one garnered six Oscar nominations.
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken from 1991 is a film based on the the memoir by Sonora Webster Carver titled A Girl and Five Brave Horses. It's about a young woman who, after being inspired by a performance at the fair, sets out to become a daredevil who rides horses during high dives.Read more at www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/g26506199/horse-movies/
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