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War Horse (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

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Fourteen horses played Joey during the movie. The "main" acting horse in the film, Finder, also portrayed Seabiscuit (2003) in the movie about the famous racehorse.
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."
When Joey is trapped in barbed wire, the wire used was rubber prop wire when a real horse was used. Part of the filming of this sequence utilized an animatronic horse.
Jeremy Irvine (Albert Naracott) contracted trench foot when filming the war scenes of the movie.
Lead Jeremy Irvine had never ridden horses prior to being cast in this, his very first feature film.
Finders Key, the horse and real star of War Horse was last ridden in a race by actor and professional jockey Kevin Mangold, finishing in 5th place at 77 to 1 odds.
Steven Spielberg's first film to be edited digitally. He has famously held onto editing traditionally; his editor, Michael Kahn, has edited nearly all of Spielberg's films on a Moviola.
Original author Michael Morpurgo's original story evolved from a chance meeting with three surviving WW1 soldiers at his local bar in Iddesleigh, Devon, Morpurgo's English hometown. After a number of meetings with the former members of the Devon yeomanry, and consultations with the Imperial War Museums (IWM), Morpurgo was able to structure a story based on the experiences of the veterans and their poignant accounts of, not just human slaughter on the battlefield, but also the wholesale carnage and starvation of horses.
This Steven Spielberg film was released in the same year as another Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and both were Oscar nominated. But the film represents another double Spielberg losing year at the Oscars. This movie received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture whilst The Adventures of Tintin (2011) got one nomination. Both films failed to win an Oscar. In 2006, Spielberg also had two movies Oscar nominated, Munich (2005) and War of the Worlds (2005). Both those two films also failed to win an Oscar that year. Spielberg had a double Oscar winning year in 1994 with Schindler's List (1993) (won 7 Oscars) and Jurassic Park (1993) (won 3 Oscars).
Prior to principal photography, a number of actors did about two months of intensive horse training.
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The tank created for the movie is now an exhibit in a bona fide tank museum in Dorset, England, among real tanks including those from the first world war.
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This movie was made and released just under thirty years after its source 'War Horse' novel by Michael Morpurgo was first published in 1982.
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Robert Emms, who had played the lead role of Albert Narracott in the West End stage production of the play, was cast in this film in a different part, as David Lyons.
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The white goose's name is Harold.
Based on both a children's novel of the same name set during World War I, by Michael Morpurgo, first published in the United Kingdom in 1982, and the 2007 stage adaptation, also of the same name.
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Emily Watson also starred in the similarly named The Water Horse (2007). In both films she played the mother of the title animal's human guardian during a World War (in "War Horse" the First, in "The Water Horse" the Second).
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The granddaughter of Captain Budgett, one of the World War I veterans who had inspired Michael Morpurgo to write the original story, appeared as an extra in the movie.
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This is the second time David Thewlis has acted in a movie whose star was a horse. The other was Black Beauty (1994).
Production filming took place under the codename 'Dartmoor'. Dartmoor is the location in Devon where the film was predominantly shot.
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First horse movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award Oscar in eight years. Seabiscuit (2003) was the last.
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This movie utilized about 5800 extras and background artists.
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Eddie Redmayne was rumored to be cast in the lead role of Albert Narracott that went to Jeremy Irvine.
Film debut of Jeremy Irvine.
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After this became Steven Spielberg and Michael Kahn's first film together edited digitally, the two swore off digital editing once again in favor of analog flatbed editing, stating that digital editing rushed their creative process too much.
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Janusz Kaminski has stated that he used John Fords The Searchers (1956) as a template for his exterior filming, paying particular attention to Ford's panoramic sky, landscape and terrain.
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Finder's two famous roles, Seabiscuit and Joey, were very similar. Both were remarkable mainly in their bravery and determination to overcome insurmountable odds they never should have been able to, considering what kind of horse they were.
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Specially designed mud was used to make the battle scenes look authentically filthy.
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Cameo 

Michael Morpurgo:  The author of the source book is seen standing next to David Thewlis during the auction scene at the beginning of the movie. Morpugo's wife Clare is also seen in the film.
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Director Trademark 

Steven Spielberg:  [fathers]  Albert's father is the initial antagonist who deprives Albert of his best friend by selling Joey into danger.
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