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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nice Short

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
2 May 2009

Stars on Horseback (1943)

*** (out of 4)

Interesting documentary short takes a look at blacksmith George Garfield who is best known for helping Hollywood stars with their horses. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, John Garfield, Tim Hold, Pricilla Lane, George Tobias and Joel McCrea are just a few of the stars on display here. I'm not sure if horse buffs will find too much to enjoy here but film buffs outta get a kick out of the large cast on display. A lot of the footage comes from movies or promotional stuff but there's some nice footage of McCrae clowning around with Garfield. We also get some nice footage of Garfield working on McCrae's horse and fitting him with the proper shoes.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hollywood at play.

5/10
Author: mark.waltz from United States
7 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The blacksmith to the stars is profiled in this brevity of the top Warner Brothers actors. It is obvious to me that most of the shots of actors riding is outtakes from their movies, most obvious of which is Bette Davis on "Dark Victory". Whether or not these actors rode in real life is anybody's guess, particularly the ones who haven't had biographies written about them. Still, it's nice to see them at play and doing something that real people do. The short is part of"A Night at the Movies" with "Old Acquaintance" as the main feature and a snazzy documentary on the importance of the women's film in cinema history. This 7 minute short truly pays tribute to man's second best friend.

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Blacksmith to the Stars

5/10
Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
3 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short was probably well received back in the day as an intro to the main feature; today it's probably of interest only to fans of the old time stars, and an eclectic group at that. The center of interest is a man by the name of George Garfield, heralded in the piece as the Blacksmith to the Stars, who plied his trade from celebrity to celebrity when not attending rodeo and horse show events around the country. Today, the only names of note are Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland, shown via film footage from their respective movies, but the picture also includes actors like George Tobias, Priscilla Lane, Jerry Colonna, Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Cliff Nazarro and cowboy actor Tim Holt. There's also a quick glimpse of horse and rider that's intended to bring to mind Roy Rogers atop Trigger, but even though the horse looks right, the man aboard seems of slighter build than Roy, and there's no mention of either in the complete credits cast. There's a brief tutorial on how to properly shoe a horse, but even the film maker probably realized this wasn't going to be the prime focus. As a period piece it's an interesting little flick, but if you miss it, I think you'll survive.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More like a chance for Warner Brothers to show off their stars.

3/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
3 November 2010

Although this short film purports to extol the virtues of blacksmiths and, in particular, a blacksmith who serves various Hollywood celebrities (all of which just happen to work for Warner Brothers), the film really is just a case of shameless self-promotion by the studio. The narration and laudable comments notwithstanding, the film is nothing but shot after shot of stars on horseback. Now I know that some of them truly did love horses and were excellent equestrians, but I also wonder if some of them couldn't tell one end from the other and were just stuck in this short to promote their careers! Regardless, it's pretty dull stuff and seems so scripted that it doesn't even seem to offer a 'behind the scenes' look at the stars as they play. Mildly interesting at best.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Really a tribute to the blacksmith who works on Hollywood's horses...

5/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
1 May 2009

Trite little short supposedly shows Hollywood stars on horseback--but instead lifts clips from their films in the case of Bette Davis (DARK VICTORY) and Olivia de Havilland (GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT).

Otherwise, the viewer gets brief glimpses of Priscilla Lane, Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias and Joel McCrea in brief outdoor shots on horseback.

Really just a chance for Warner Bros. to remind patrons of their stars, but cheating just a little by using only film clips for Bette and Olivia.

Summing up: Easy to miss.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Warner Bros. warns America here of a plot . . .

6/10
Author: Edgar Allan Pooh from The Gutters of Baltimore
4 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . spear-headed by Fat Cat Hollywood One Per Centers to replace automobiles with horses as America's primary mode of transportation. With World War Two raging via newsreels at local movie theaters across the U.S., and Americans putting their jalopies up on cement blocks in the face of acute gas and rubber (tire) rationing, the scheme detailed in this live-action short must have seemed more like a plausible possibility than a far-fetched fantasy to movie-goers still huffing and puffing from their pedestrian trek to the local cinema. Strangely missing from STARS ON HORSEBACK is a single defecating horse. If ALL Americans were riding horses to go about their daily business, studies show that our nation would be buried to an average depth of seven feet, three inches in Horseship by the end of one year. Obviously, the Blue-blood's blueprints did NOT envision such universal and ruinous horse ownership. Instead, they planned on our now-obsolete paved highways reverting to bridle trails for the wealthy, as Working America got stuck wandering ghettos such as Camden, Newark, and Detroit on foot. Without Warner's STARS ON HORSEBACK warning, The Rich may well have turned the Motor City into Buggy Whipville, with mass transit based on Dr. Scholl's corn pads.

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