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Every year the Chincoteague fire department rounds up the wild ponies of Assateague. island, and then auctions off the colts and yearlings to thin out the herd. A young brother and sister, Paul and Maureen Beebe, have set their hearts on owning one particular wild three-year old pony, The Phantom. Only they have to earn the money, the Phantom has to be captured in the roundup (which she never has), and then they have to outbid everyone else for her in the auction. And even the Phantom herself has a surprise for Paul and Maureen: a foal named Misty. Written by
With the exception of the Beebe family characters, most of the people in the film are played by real-life residents of the town of Chincoteague, Virginia. The premiere of the film was held at the Island Theater (now the Roxy Theater) in Chincoteague. As part of the celebration, the real Misty placed her hoof prints in cement, and author Marguerite Henry signed her name next to the hoof prints, on the sidewalk outside the theater. See more »
It has its charm, but it looks like the budget was about $49.95
When I was a kid, my family went on vacation year after year to Chincoteague Island (off the Virginia Coast). It was a nice quiet place with sort of a Mayberry charm, though, like most places, it's not exactly the same any more. One of the old memories I have of the island was their adoration of the book and movie about Misty. Everywhere you went, shops sold the books as well as horse souvenirs. And, oddly, the local movie theater was STILL showing the movie MISTY--years after it first debuted. Up through the 1970s, they STILL were showing the film (in addition to other films, thank goodness). The reason? Well, the original title of the book was "Misty of Chincoteague" and was about one of the many wild ponies roaming this and nearby Assateague Island. And wow did everyone seem to love it, though not being an especially great horse lover, I didn't see what all the fuss was about and never saw the film when I visited the island.
Years later, I decided to finally give the film a look--after all, maybe I was missing something. After seeing it, I really don't think I was missing anything. If you adore horses, then you'll no doubt be able to look past the pathetic acting and bare-bones budget. If you aren't a fan of horse films, then the films many, many short-comings will seem even more apparent. The bottom line is that I felt the film was incredibly dull and the print looked as if it was filmed with a Super 8mm camera. The only things that interested me were scenes of the island before it became a tourist mecca--THAT was interesting.
So if you see the movie, you'll need to ask yourself, "am I a rabid fan of the books or of ponies?". If so, then by all means see this film. Otherwise, don't say I didn't warn you--it's really bad.
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