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"Thunderhead," a roving, big white stallion, causes problems for the Wyoming ranchers when he leads their blue-blooded racing mares off to join his wild horse herd in the mountains. Escaping gunfire, he runs off one night with a young rancher;s mare, a possible winner of the Governor's Stake trotting race. The mare is recaptured and entered in the race against the horse owned by the father of the young rancher's sweetheart, and this puts a damper on their romance. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Strictly for lovers of horses--others will probably be rather bored
When I see horses, I see either a form of transportation or wonder if they taste like beef. I do NOT get misty-eyed or attach any emotional importance to them. Now don't assume I am a jerk--a lot of guys just don't get all sentimental about horses. Had the main characters been dogs or perhaps cute little orphans, then I might have been more interested. The bottom line is that I don't love horses and the only reason I saw this film was because it had Charles Coburn in it. Now DON'T give me a negative rating just because I feel this way--many people aren't sentimental about them and so I am warning these types of people to stay away from the film.
Now if you think about the wind blowing in your hair every time you see a horse or cry because you remember reading stories such as "Stormy" or "Misty of Chincoteague", then this movie is for you! You'll get a huge dose of beautiful horses and you'll get to see them running majestically in the Wyoming hills as well racing in the most exciting sport known to mankind, trotting!!! Wow. Horses,...lots and lots of beautiful horses!!
Okay, now depending on which group you are in, the rest of the plot may or may not be very important. The film begins at the ranch where Charles Coburn and his lovely granddaughter live. Playing somewhat against type, Coburn is a surly drunk. The surliness is pure Coburn, but the drunk part is pretty unusual. And, in this case, he's particularly surly because his prize horse ran off with a wild horse (Thunderhead). Much of the movie, Coburn plots on putting a bullet in Thunderhead, but eventually he and the other renegade horses are caught and none of them are turned into dog food (yay).
A more prominent plot that unfolds just a bit later is about a neighbor and their son's seemingly bone-headed decision to buy a new horse while he's away in the city. However, you know based on the type movie it is that this new and very spirited horse will one day prove itself--you just know it.
I really don't want to discuss the plot much more--partly because I'd hate to spoil it and partly because I just don't feel like it (after all, I am not a horse movie fan). My only real reason for watching it was for Coburn and in hindsight, it wasn't worth it. This is especially true because towards the end, a very old and fat Coburn is entered in the biggest trotting race in the country (as a jockey, not as a horse) and this just seemed ridiculous! Now I must say that it really looked like Coburn was driving, so they did a good job of faking it, but just who would believe that a 71 year-old man who probably weighed close to 300 pounds would be a jockey?!?
Regardless of the silliness of this casting decision, the movie is competently made--just not all that interesting unless you absolutely adore horses. At least the film was professionally made and I could respect its production values--unlike MISTY, which I think was made for a budget just over $49.95.
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