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The Electric Horseman (1979)

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screen story) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Will Hare ...
Gus
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Dietrich (as James B. Sikking)
James Kline ...
Frank Speiser ...
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Bud Broderick (as Quinn Redeker)
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Storyline

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are going drug the horse in case its too frisky, he rides off into the desert... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

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Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Electric  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The top grossing picture of the fall period at the American box-office in 1979. Moreover, the movie was the eleventh highest-grossing picture of 1979 in the same territory. See more »

Goofs

After Hallie Martin tapes a statement by Sonny Steele in the great outdoors, she drives back to town, sees that it's crawling with cops and returns to warn Steele that he can't go back to town because it's crawling with cops. So what do they do? Ditch her car, get in the camper and drive right into town. See more »

Quotes

Sonny Steele: I ain't carrying it. And you can't carry it.
Hallie Martin: The hell I can't. I've carried this stuff a lot of times.
Sonny Steele: Where? Up the escalator at Bloomingtons, or Bloomingbirds or where ever the hell it is?
Hallie Martin: Bloomingdales!
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Martin Sheen/David Bowie (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
(uncredited)
Composed by Ed Bruce
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Refreshing maturity.
18 October 2008 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

In the days when people treated one another with more civility, sound bites (bights) and high-energy opinion didn't rule the political scene, and sensationalism didn't masquerade as being newsworthy, Hollywood's film industry was cranking out fare that didn't placate to the juvenile demographic.

"The Electric Horseman" is a forward thinking film populated with adult actors that have adult sensibilities. There are no quick put-downs and one-liners comprised of single syllable words. And when I say adult, I don't mean the bawdy toilet film making styles that literally pollute the media air.

"The Electric Horseman" is mainstream cinema from the closing era of the 1970s. When people wearing ties and blouses attended the movie house, and did so politely.

In this regard "The Electric Horseman" is a throwback to another era when people had more comport in their personal presentation, and demonstrated an amount of civility and societal understanding. Even so, corporate greed is exposed in the plot, as well as the foibles of a femme-reporteress whose hunger for success shows her inner soul to both character and audience (appropriately played by Jane Fonda).

The stalwart American society is also appropriately reflected in Robert Redford's character, who gives us a character who must rediscover his "awe shucks" self through an act of humanity for the sake of a stricken and exploited living, breathing creature that cannot speak for itself; Rising Star.

Cinematography is professional, as are all elements of this film. No performance is overstated, save for Fonda, but, if I know Pollack, that was intentional. The feminist climbing the media ladder and forgetting her ideals by breaking the rules for the sake of those ideals, is met with the has-been buckaroo who has similarly rediscovered who and what he is.

The romance is standard Hollywood 101, but, though not entirely necessary, is still appropriate, and in this regard, probably satisfying to the audience--men and women alike.

It's not a deep film on a personal level, but it is profound on the character level. We sympathize with the characters and identify with them in a detached manner. They are extensions of us (or what we might've been) were we in those situations.

No flashy cuts, no CGI, no rumbling sound effects, no splashy cinema effects of any-kind, standard lensing, tight scripting, and solid thesping make this film a sight for sore eyes.

Thank you Mister Pollack, Mister Redford... and I'd never thought I'd say it, but, thank you "Mizz" Fonda.


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