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, ...
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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 »
Paul, listen to me. The Phantom's not a horse. The Phantom's a piece of wind and sky. That's why we *call* her "The Phantom."
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As a Marylander, this film is clearly a loving homage to the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague. A darling film, with a cast containing many locals, and actual Beebe family members (and their accents), this film has heart. Had to be a labor of love, or they would have brought in professional actors for it all, and left the look and feel of the locals on the cutting room floor. Instead we get a time capsule of a Mayberry style life, that was unique to the nation. You can still go to the pony crossing, and you can still buy ponies, but after some folk thought they could put the foals in their car trunks for the ride home, things changed, and they cost a lot more than they did then.
My 9-year-old daughter is sitting next to me, here in 2012, transfixed by this 1961 film. A must see.
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