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Fresh Horses (1988)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 November 1988 (USA)
A Cincinnati college student breaks off his engagement to his wealthy fiancée after he falls in love with a backwoods Kentucky girl he meets at a party. She claims to be 20 years old, but ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Larkin
Kyle Larkin
Chiara Peacock ...
Rachel Jones ...
Christy Budig ...
Larry Ketron ...
Ken Strunk ...
Dr. Lippincutt


A Cincinnati college student breaks off his engagement to his wealthy fiancée after he falls in love with a backwoods Kentucky girl he meets at a party. She claims to be 20 years old, but he learns that she's actually just 16 and already married. Written by Chris Cuomo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love doesn't have to last a lifetime. See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zärtliche Liebe  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$6,640,346 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Larry Ketron's screenplay is an adaptation of his own play. See more »


Tipton: Look, when the horse underneath us drops, we take a fresh one.
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller? (2008) See more »


South Of Cincinnati
Written by Dwight Yoakam
Performed by Dwight Yoakam
See more »

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User Reviews

Vastly Underrated and Under-Mentioned Flick
13 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out. I was in love with Ringwald at the time as she was(and is still if the laws of physics still apply) about 5 years older than me. I really liked it then, and have been trying to get this on DVD for years.

I was afraid that the film wouldn't be as good as I remembered, and it wasn't in the WAY that I remembered, but it was BETTER in ways that I didn't have the experience or maturity to appreciate at the time.

While aspects of the film are dated, namely the syrupy, St. Elmo's Fire-ish theme song in the opening/closing credits, it held up surprisingly well. The only thing that keeps me from giving this higher marks is the unfortunate 80's gloss that works so well for the John Hughes films, but keeps this one from transcending the rat-pack genre.

If this film were made today, it would never be filmed or sold as a "box-office" film, but would rather go through Sundance, IFC, etc., and the style would be more raw, more gritty. By and large though, that just didn't happen with "Teen Stars" in the 80's, and I'm amazed they got this film made at all! Also, for the people who don't seem to get the "Fresh Horses" reference, my take on it is not definitive, but there is a line where Ben Stiller is talking to Matt (McCarthy) and says something to the effect of letting a tired horse go, and getting a "fresh horse" in reference to dropping Jewel.

It seemed to me that the metaphor was that while the characters all cared about each other, each relationship("horse") had more selfish/cynical motivations behind them. In effect, the relationships were being used to move themselves from one-point to another towards their goals/desires, whether or not they themselves understood or acknowledged them.

Ringwald uses McCarthy to get out of her marriage, McCarthy uses Ringwald to get out of his engagement, Stiller seems to use his friendship with McCarthy to avoid growing up and getting serious, McCarthy seems to be trying to fulfill an image of himself as a white-knight, though he finds that he doesn't have the character, he also seems to need the superiority he feels over Jewel due to her lack of education and so on....

Unfortunately for most(it seems!), the movie required you to do a little thinking, and probably drew the wrong crowd due to its co-stars, who were maybe expecting Pretty in Pink II, or Pretty In Pink "for adults", but I do not agree with that view of the movie.

If you haven't seen it, give it a shot. Just go in with a blank slate and take it as it comes....

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Fresh Horses is a unique and disturbing character study... jp_ribner
Chew your leg off to get away from this one! MJPandDAS
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'Wealthy' College Student? laurenswann
music Frozilla_Firefox
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