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Phar Lap (1983)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,162 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 32 user | 3 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

The true story of a Australian racehorse that becomes a champion with the help of a local stableboy.

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Title: Phar Lap (1983)

Phar Lap (1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Morgan ...
...
Simon Wells ...
Newsboy
Kelvyn Worth ...
Newsboy
Justin Ridley ...
Newsboy
Martin Vaughan ...
Harry Telford
Brian Granrott ...
Reporter
Celia De Burgh ...
Vi Telford
Steven Bannister ...
Cappy Telford (Younger)
Richard Terrill ...
Cappy Telford (Older)
...
Dave Davis
Ross O'Donovan ...
Strapper
Ashley Grenville ...
Strapper
Les Foxcroft ...
Brazier Man
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Storyline

Phar Lap, the legendary Australian racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford. Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford's faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock. American-promoter Dave Davis arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his "long shot" status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapses and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was "murdered" by the gambling interests. Written by Hal Erickson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was the long shot...heard 'round the world. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Horse Called Phar Lap  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy Woodcock himself actually appears in the film, portraying a horse trainer. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, in early 1928, Phar Lap's trainer Harry Telford (Martin Vaughan) insists that the horse's name must contain seven letters, because the names of the last four Melbourne Cup winners had contained seven letters. In fact, only one of the previous four Melbourne Cup winners in the period in question, 1924-27, had seven letters in its name - Windbag, in 1925. The other winners in that period were Backwood (1924), Spearfelt (1926) and Trivalve (1927). Nor did the subsequent 1928 winner, Statesman, nor the 1929 winner, Nightmarch (to whom Phar Lap ran third), have seven letters in their names. See more »


Soundtracks

Along the Road to Gundagai
(uncredited)
Written by Jack O'Hagan
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User Reviews

 
Another Amazing Racehorse
20 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A good horse racing story - especially if it's based on real life - usually gets my attention and this is no exception. Phar Lap was a famous New Zealand race horse. This was another Seabiscuit-type horse who overcame big odds to achieve greatness. He just never got much press outside of New Zealand, I guess.

Rob Leibman, as the generally unlikable guy in the film (who does have a few good moments, to be fair) is the most interesting actor in here. However, the star of the movie, outside of the horse, is Tom Burlinson, the best friend Phar Lap ever had and the only likable male in the film.

The story never lagged and was beautifully shot. I am still waiting for a DVD of this and hopefully it will be made. It deserves having one and I was hoping it would ride the coattails of the Seabiscuit publicity tail, but apparently not.

In summary, a nice story of a horse who triumphs despite a greedy trainer and owner who overwork the animal....at least according to the movie. Yeah, I realize there is a good chance much of this was exaggerated. The film industry tends to fictionalize these "true" stories. Whatever the case, this is a great story.


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!!!!!!! THE CHEEKY SODS STOLE PHAR LAP!!! the_mad_oboist
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