Into the West (1992)

PG  |   |  Family, Adventure  |  17 September 1993 (USA)
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Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Papa Reilly
Ciarán Fitzgerald ...
Rúaidhrí Conroy ...
Tito (as Ruaidhrí Conroy)
Inspector Bolger
Superintendant O'Mara
Anita Reeves ...
Mrs. Murphy
Ray McBride ...
Mr. Murphy
Dave Duffy ...
Stuart Dannell-Foran ...
Conor Murphy (as Stuart Dannell)
Becca Hollinshead ...
Birdy Murphy


A gigantic white stallion appears mysteriously to a Traveller grandfather and his two grandsons in an Irish slum. Since, puzzlingly, the younger of the two boys is the only individual who can control the horse, ownership falls to him and his older brother by default. There being no place for the animal, they move him into the apartment of their alcoholic Traveller father. Police remove him and, in a shady deal, he ends up under control of a wealthy, underhanded horse breeder. The boys manage to retrieve him and escape on his back, but the stallion seems to have his own travelling agenda. Written by JH

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Accused of a crime they didn't commit, two city kids and a magical horse are about to become the coolest outlaws ever to ride Into The West. See more »


Family | Adventure

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

17 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das weiße Zauberpferd  »

Box Office


$4,790,801 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne were married to each other when the film was made. See more »


The dogs used when officials are tracking the boys and the horse through the forest (01:15:00 to 01:17:10) change from crop-eared to natural floppy-eared. See more »


[first lines]
Papa Reilly: [to his son] You're not gonna return there again. You have to pretend your name is Murphy. Do you understand that?
See more »


References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »


Someone To Talk To
by The Devlins
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User Reviews

`Into The West' is a beautifully made film:
31 January 2003 | by (Crozet, VA) – See all my reviews

`Into The West' is a beautifully made film: that it is also a wonderful children's move is only an added delight.

This film is a ghost story of love, loss, redemption, and the power of both myth and family to endure (if not exactly overcome) the twin bedevilments of a well-intentioned but meddling socialism, on the one hand, and privileged and greedy capitalism on the other. It is a modern fairy tale (with ties to traditional Irish mythology); but remarkably, it is also an honest, gritty look at the lives of not only the urban poor, but also of that most marginalized and enigmatic of socio-ethnic groups-the contemporary gypsies (or `travelers,' as they call themselves)--who eke out a meager but defiant existence in a world of the `settled.'

The movie is sympathetic to these people, but never over-romanticizes them. Around their campfire is not only joyous traditional Irish music and dancing, but also a television going full blast. And while their children are as happy as children anywhere, their camps are not idyllic picnics, but cold and grubby landfalls.

The story itself is not overly complicated. A strange white horse appears out of seemingly nowhere and is drawn to the two young sons of a widowed traveler, the death of whose wife has driven him to reject the gypsy life and embrace the bottle.

The horse, which has a preternatural jumping ability, is stolen and sold buy a corrupt police officer, then retaken by the boys, who then find themselves led westward by the horse, followed by both their father and the authorities.

All such journeys, of course, are journeys into both history and self knowledge; and it is here the film excels, gradually spinning out for us, with as few words as possible, the tale of a lost wife and mother, while showing us how the uncertain quest brings both father and sons to a better understanding of themselves, their history, and each other.

The film is painterly, well-acted (with especial kudos to the children) and splendidly edited--with no endless chase scenes (no more than necessary, anyway)--and with one of the most perfect and revealing climactic shots ever filmed--full of magic and metaphor--with never a word or a heavy-handed image.

`Into The West' is the perfect film for discriminating film lovers who want to watch some superb cinema with their kids-or without them.

P.S. My seven-year-old daughter loved it.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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