The Electric Horseman (1979) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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...

  • After retiring from the rodeo where he was five-time all-around world rodeo champion, Sonny Steele is signed by multinational conglomerate Ampco to be the spokesman for their breakfast cereal, Ranch Breakfast. This corporate job, where he is paraded around on horses in electrically lit cowboy get-ups and where the publicity department makes him grow a mustache to look more like a cowboy, eventually sucks away at his soul, which leads to him taking up the bottle and often being drunk at events. Conversely, the publicity department tries to hide him from the media. At a corporate-wide Ampco event in Las Vegas, television reporter Hallie Martin senses that there is a story in Sonny being hidden by his own publicity machine. That event also marks the last straw for Sonny with Ampco as he is to appear with Ampco's acquisition, a $12 million race horse named Rising Star. Although Sonny is willing to be denigrated by Ampco, he will not allow them to do the same to Rising Star, who they drug to sedate at such public events and to make him look cosmetically more pleasing, all at his expense. As such, Sonny decides to steal Rising Star and literally ride off into the sunset. Hot on their tail are the Ampco executives - who want to keep the story as quiet as possible so as not to tarnish their brand - the police, and Hallie. Hallie does whatever she can to get the story straight from Sonny's mouth, so much better if hers are the only cameras rolling at the time. But as Hallie catches up with Sonny and by circumstance spends some extended alone time with him and Rising Star, her priorities of getting the story at any cost may change to helping Sonny elude capture and achieve what is his end goal with Rising Star. But that goal may be jeopardized by Hallie's earlier priorities, which are still those of her network.

  • A rodeo star past his prime steal his company's horse and rides off into the desert, with a feisty female reporter accompanying him.


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