Dartmoor,1914: To his wife's dismay farmer Narracott buys a thoroughbred horse rather than a plough animal, but when his teenaged son Albert trains the horse and calls him Joey, the two becoming inseparable. When his harvest fails, the farmer has to sell Joey to the British cavalry and he is shipped to France where, after a disastrous offensive he is captured by the Germans and changes hands twice more before he is found, caught in the barbed wire in No Man's Land four years later and freed. He is returned behind British lines where Albert, now a private, has been temporarily blinded by gas, but still recognizes his beloved Joey. However, as the Armistice is declared Joey is set to be auctioned off. After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together? Written by
don @ minifie-1
Steven Spielberg stated that the only digital effects used in the movie were three shots that lasted three seconds, and was done to ensure the safety of the horse involved. Spielberg was quoted as saying "That's the thing I'm most proud of. Everything you see on screen really happened." See more »
Towards the end of the film, when the grandfather, who has outbid Albert at the auction for Joey, informs him that he has travelled three days to get the horse back, how did he know that the horse was going to be auctioned? Albert only found out the day before. See more »
This film is simply ridiculous from start to finish.
I love movies and I love horses. To me the basic enjoyment of watching films is based in the simple concept of make believe. I need to as the viewer to believe in the characters, the setting, the story. I have to understand motives and be able to translate this into something, into a coherent vision. I have to be able to suspend my disbelief in order to allow the director to take me willingly into his world of make believe.
This is exactly where War Horse fails miserably. I cannot believe that a poor family would even out of pride buy a thoroughbred instead of a plow horse, I cannot believe that a soldier would promise a young boy to take very good care of his horse and subsequently send him a drawing of that horse in the midst of war when people are dying all around him.
I cannot be drawn into a movie that clearly is supposed to be a love story between a young man and his horse, underscored by the most sickening score ever to have been written by John Williams - if anyone can believe that at all.
Every scene reeks of a kind of meta-awareness about itself - this is the scene where the bond between the horse and boy is established, this is the scene where the character of the father is revealed. Cancelling out any type of true emotion or pretense of make believe.
For example the scene where the usually brilliant Emma Watson tells her son about the experiences of his father during the Boer war in South Africa. The scene is literally saying: This is the scene where the mother will reveal her love for her husband. I cannot remember a word of the dialog but only my sense of the self-awareness making the scene awkward and making me feel sorry for Emma Watson for having to read out such completely low-standard writing. When you are working with meta-awareness in order to create certain emotions you loose the make believe part. It is also extremely condescending - I feel I am being patronized by the film maker here. I throw this scene at you with a sickly girl living with her grandfather speaking out the most hideously written dialog ever and you are supposed to feel in a certain way.
No! Mr. Spielberg - that is not the way it works!
There is more make believe, truth and respect for the audience in the 3 min scene from Close Encounters where Dreyfuss builds that hill in his living room than there is in this entire film.
1 star - would have rated it even lower if possible.
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