7.4/10
1,386
33 user 4 critic

Phar Lap (1983)

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

Director:

4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Morgan ...
...
Simon Wells ...
Newsboy
Kelvyn Worth ...
Newsboy
Justin Ridley ...
Newsboy
...
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

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Phar Lap's death, his stuffed hide was donated to the Melbourne Museum (where it is one of the main attractions), his skeleton to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and his heart to the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. His heart was remarkable for its size, weighing 6.2 kg, compared with an average horse's heart weight of 3.2 kg. 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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Connolly: An honest man is someone who hasn't had a good enough offer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Emerald City (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder
(uncredited)
Music by Dave Dreyer
Lyrics by Al Jolson and Billy Rose
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User Reviews

 
Great Flick!
15 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For ANYone out there who is: A) an avid horse racing fan B) loves remarkable stories

or C) doesn't need an "all-star" cast to recognize a great film/story.

Phar Lap is great. Find out what happens to a sport when a freak of nature comes on the scene and creates a world-wide panic. From simple fans, horse & animal lovers, politicians and even the mafia. A story that will touch and amaze you in ways you never dreamed possible. See the lengths man would go to get "even" the playing field. Then watch as this thoroughbred smashes the measures taken. If you thought "Old Yeller" was great (and it was), this movie should knock your socks off. It's an amazing true story that MUST be seen to be believed. Forget "Black Stallion" and the rest. Phar Lap is FANtastic!!


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