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|Index||26 reviews in total|
OK, first, to the reviewer that suggested "too much Fonda" and would
have liked to see Susan St. James or Jennifer Warren in the role of
Alice, you are forbidden from ever reviewing again. Fonda was perfect,
and more on that later.
Second, this is not about a cowboy freeing a horse who is about to be drugged, as some reviewers have said. The horse was drugged from the beginning. Sonny noticed it, and that was a contributing factor to his subsequent actions.
This movie is about a man who strayed far from who he was, and who sought to find himself again. The horse is metaphoric: it is drugged, exploited, and broken, just like the man. So, the man attempts to find himself, as he helps the horse find itself again, so to speak. And, in the process of trying to report the story, the Fonda character attempts to find herself as well, for she has become neurotic, pill-popping, and uptight in her quest to become a star reporter. And, of course, as they travel the countryside, we find America.
Back to Fonda. Fonda's casting has always been that of the strong but flawed "career" woman, from "Barbarella", to "Klute", to "Electric Horseman". She is independent, doesn't need a man. As the tough and aggressive reporter in personal crisis, she is cast perfectly. St. James has neither the strength nor the necessary equal dose of vulnerability that Fonda can muster. This is about chemistry as well. Redford and Fonda have teamed up before, and the chemistry is proved.
So this brilliant and simple story illustrates and creatively reinforces the the idea of straying from true nature, and the need to find it again.
VERY good film.
Saddle up! for this Excellent romantic-comedy, Robert Redford stars as
Sonny Steele who once was a world class Rodeo star, but is now a washed
up drunkard reduced to advertising breakfast cereal on TV for the shady
AMPCO corporation,whose latest Publicity campaign features prize
winning race horse Rising Star,
AMPCO's next junket takes place at Las Vegas where Redford is to Launch the campaign ,Behind a backdrop of glamor and corporate greed, Redford discovers that the horse has been drugged with an abundance of steroids,Redford saddles up and literally takes off with the horse in protest,
Jane Fonda plays Hallie, a news reporter who might just get an exclusive, follows Redford on his quest to release Rising Star into the wild to roam free.
Sydney Pollack, always with a great eye for casting, even has country and western favorite Willie Nelson, Valerie Perrine has an appearance as An old flame of Redford's, Wilford Brimley has a small role as kindly farmer who helps Redford on his way, Usual Pollack regular Composer, Dave Grusin Contribute's Greatly,
Being a great fan of the film's stars, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda,
especially back when I first saw it, I found this an entertaining, if
not memorable romance, western style.
The story revolves around a former rodeo star named Sonny Steele (Redford) who has been reduced to doing cereal commercials in Las Vegas, all the while lit up in a sort of electrified suit. When he discovers plans are afoot to drug his horse lest it become too adventurous, he rides off into the desert, followed closely by a reporter named Hallie Martin (Fonda). At first, Hallie is simply seeking an exclusive story, but as you can imagine, before too long, the sparks are flying. Meanwhile, other forces are also after the runaway horseman, who just wants to return the horse to nature and himself to a simpler life.
The chemistry here between Redford and Fonda is wonderful, as they share basically an outdoor camping trip. Apart from that, the movie is primarily imparting a message about commercialism in our modern society, especially the evils of using both people and animals for profit. I was interested to read that Robert Redford actually bought for himself the horse, Rising Star, that was used in this film. It isn't any masterpiece, but certainly an entertaining movie that points to the beauties of a simple country life.
This movie stars Robert Redford as an five time rodeo champion who is now a has-been promoting a breakfast cereal. Jane Fonda is a reporter who wants to interview Redford, but he just blows her off. Redford is basically upset always being told what to do and he steals a 12 million dollar horse that they're mistreating and he's going to take it out and set it free. The company that owns the horse wants to keep it quiet and then wants to send in the police. Fonda tracks him down and joins up with him so she can get a bigger story and of course, they have to fall in love. This movie seems to be a cross between It Happened One Night and Lonely Are The Brave. This was directed by Sydney Pollock who has worked with Redford several times before and also with Fonda.
To those people who didn't understand this movie, perhaps they were expecting something other than a simple tale. In this effective movie, Robert Redford plays "Sonny" Steele, a former 5 time rodeo champion who now hocks breakfast cereal for the sinister corporation, Ampco. Although a world champion cowboy, Sonny is no good at selling cereal. When Ampco buys a thoroughbred horse to solidify a merger, Sonny is outraged at how the horse has been mistreated. When he steals the horse in an attempt to set it free & get it back to nature, he is in fact attempting to make right what is also wrong in his own life. Jane Fonda who plays Hallie Martin, a reporter, is also caught up in the hype when she tries to get the story on an exclusive. As she follows his story & his struggle to set the horse free in an appropriate place, she comes to understand Sonny the man. This charm of this movie is its underlying message of a simple life, unfettered by hypocrisy and falseness as the right way to live and the redemptive quality of a man returning to that. Understated directing and a good supporting cast make this a movie worth watching.
If you want to know why Robert Redford and/or Jane Fonda are considered by some to be great actors, rent this film. The story is not terribly complex, but the characters are. The life breathed into the Sonny and Alice by the stars of this film must be seen to be appreciated. Subtle, deep, perfect.
Everyone involved in "The Electric Horseman" is taking it easy. The film is just a lark for some very talented people, and while it does have its amusements it doesn't add up to much. Robert Redford plays a rodeo-star who steals his celebrated horse, planning to ride it up to hill country to release it in the wild, but he's dogged by inquisitive female reporter Jane Fonda. There's a message about wildlife to be had in Robert Garland's exceptionally thin script, which must have attracted both Redford and Fonda, but director Sydney Pollack wisely concentrates on the leads' budding romance, and the horse takes the proverbial backseat. Some of the repartee is sharp, but the movie doesn't particularly look good or seem fully thought out. As a result, it's unmemorable and undemanding, though not without minor enjoyment. **1/2 from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Electric Horseman is a film about the redemption of Sonny Steele, a man
who has lost his way and become a caricature of all that he holds to be
worthwhile about his life. Sonny starts his journey back to himself
when he sees the once- champion horse Rising Star, being handled in the
same demeaning fashion. As a fading celebrity Sonny knows he has
allowed this to happen to himself, but the horse is more obviously at
the mercy of others. The plight of the innocent horse angers Sonny
enough for him to make the decision to make it all different, starting
right now. Sonny's quest to liberate Rising Star is his quest to
liberate himself from the life that was consuming him.
Jane Fondas character makes it possible for us to understand the story and the motivations of Sonny Steele. Of course we grow to love him, as she does. Who wouldn't!
Over the years I seemed to have missed seeing this film and enjoyed the very young looking Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. The best part of the picture takes place when these two actors are in the outdoors and enjoying the so called comforts of a rough camping routine. Their first warm kiss gets the film interesting and their conversations become very comical and entertaining over sleeping habits and cold coffee. Jane Fonda played (Alice (Hallie) Martin) and Robert Redford was (Norman 'Sonny' Steele) who made plenty of electricity in this cute romantic film. If you like great photography of the West and two outstanding great actors, this is a film to enjoy.
The best thing about this film is the light-up "electric horseman" outfit that Redford wears in the beginning of the film-- as I recall, it inspired many a Halloween costume when the film was released. Otherwise, this film is utterly ridiculous. We are supposed to believe a corporation spends million of dollars on a winning racehorse not to breed it, but to serve as a corporate mascot, despite the fact that most people can't tell one brown horse from another. We are supposed to believe that a rodeo champion would be a useful spokesman to sell cereal, even though almost no Americans can name a single rodeo champion from any point in history, five-time winner or not. We are supposed to believe that after days adventuring in the desert, neither Redford or Fonda looks like they've been more than three feet away from a blow-dryer and can of Final Net for touch-ups. This film was less inspiring than insulting.
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