They say never work with children or animals but a few films have proved the exception to the rule & become box office smashes using horses as the major star. Here’s some of the best horse-related movies.
This Steven Spielberg directed film is a heartrending epic focusing on a horse uprooted from its home in the countryside to fight in the brutal killing fields of World War One. Spielberg brought some equine experience with him for War Horse as he owns several racehorses, one of which went on to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
The Horse Whisperer
There are few more deeply moving films than 1998’s The Horse Whisperer. Not only does it feature award-winning cinematography, but also there are many affecting scenes as Robert Redford uses his ‘horse-whispering’ skills to heal a stricken horse.
Few movies can conjure up the excitement of horse racing as well as 2003’s Seabiscuit. This follows the real-life story of the under-sized thoroughbred Seabiscuit as he comes from nowhere to become the darling of American racing during the Depression years.
Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 epic not only featured some great horse-riding action, but lead actress Nicole Kidman was so inspired by her experiences on set that she bought a cattle ranch soon after!
And likewise Johnny Depp was so enamoured with the one-eyed lead horse playing the character Gunpowder in the film, that he saved it from the slaughterhouse by buying it and taking it home with him.
Lord Of The Rings
Whilst most of the action centred on hobbits and orcs, a big part was played by horses in this fantasy trilogy. And the film’s star Viggo Mortensen was so taken with the horses that he bought two of them swiftly afterwards.
Dances With Wolves
This western epic featured some great horse action as Kevin Costner plays a civil war soldier who joins a tribe of Native American Indians. Costner must have really been taken with the role as he now has ranches in California and Colorado, and has become a skilled equestrian.
And finally, Black Beauty might just be the archetypal horse movie. Based on Anna Sewell’s novel of the same name, it sees life through the horse’s eyes as it travels from its bucolic home in the countryside to the perils of the big city.
For more great films featuring horses, how about a scary movie: check out Vincent Price in great British horror film Witchfinder General!