Down 10,373 this week

Phar Lap (1983)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,103 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 31 user | 3 critic | 6 from

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


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 27 Apr 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 13 Feb 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Aug 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Apr 2013
a list of 29 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Phar Lap" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Phar Lap (1983)

Phar Lap (1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Phar Lap.

User Polls

4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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


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

Plot Keywords:

horse | stableboy | racing | winner | animal | See more »


When he beat the odds, they changed the rules. When he broke the records, they weighed him down. But he had one thing on his side...the faith of a boy. Together they lived a legend that inspired a nation and won the heart of the world. See more »


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Horse Called Phar Lap  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tommy Woodcock went on to become a horse trainer. One of his greatest success was Reckless, a horse which won the Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane Cups and finished second in the Melbourne Cup in 1977. Tommy was respected for his training methods and his great love for horses. Tommy and his wife, Emma, had no children but their home was always open to the apprentices that Tommy trained. Tommy Woodcock trained horses until he was 78. He donated several of his personal mementoes of Phar Lap to the Museum of Victoria to go with the Museum's exhibit of Phar Lap's hide. See more »


Featured in 20 to 1: Greatest Sports Movies of All Time (2010) See more »


Phar Lap - Farewell to You
Written by Jack Lumsdaine
Sung by Brian Hannan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Light Entertaining Australian Story
15 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film, especially being a horse racing fan myself. The one possible flaw of this film is the beginning. It begins the film with Phar Lap's death, and looks back at the events that transpired before it. However even though every Australian knows the complete story, for any foreign viewer the whole story has been given away! This spoils a possible strong and shocking end to the story.

The story line of Phar Lap is strong, he was a freak racehorse who came from rags to riches to win the hearts of all Australians during the great depression. After winning the biggest race in the world, his life tragically ends in suspicious circumstances, which forces a nation into mourning. Sub-plots however, including a romance featuring Tommy Woodcock, and Telford's money problems don't hold up. This doesn't spoil the movie as the story of Phar Lap can stand on its own.

Tom Burlinson does a good job of Tommy Woodcock, Rob Leibman practically walks away with the movie as the American Dave Davis. However, Martin Vaughan's performance is average as Phar Lap's trainer, Harry Telford.

Even with the tragic ending it is still light entertaining movie about a great Australian Icon.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
!!!!!!! THE CHEEKY SODS STOLE PHAR LAP!!! the_mad_oboist
Phar Lap purely the greatest horse to grace the racetrack? PharLap4Eva
Phar Lap on DVD?? ppremo
My first movie starcheeze
Real horse--ugly?? No way! waseom
Cappy dark_childau
Discuss Phar Lap (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: