6.3/10
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37 user 28 critic

The Electric Horseman (1979)

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A rodeo star past his prime steals his company's horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Robert Garland (screenplay), Paul Gaer (screen story) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Sonny
Jane Fonda ... Hallie
Valerie Perrine ... Charlotta
Willie Nelson ... Wendell
John Saxon ... Hunt Sears
Nicolas Coster ... Fitzgerald
Allan Arbus ... Danny
Wilford Brimley ... Farmer
Will Hare ... Gus
Basil Hoffman ... Toland
Timothy Scott ... Leroy
James Sikking ... Dietrich (as James B. Sikking)
James Kline James Kline ... Tommy
Frank Speiser Frank Speiser ... Bernie
Quinn K. Redeker ... Bud Broderick (as Quinn Redeker)
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Storyline

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are going drug the horse in case its too frisky, he rides off into the desert... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Electric See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$61,801,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wildwood Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The top grossing picture of the fall period at the American box-office in 1979. Moreover, the movie was the eleventh highest-grossing picture of 1979 in the same territory. See more »

Goofs

Sonny tends to Rising Star's problem front right leg throughout the movie. However, as Alice and Sonny are leading Rising Star through the mountains, there's one shot of them walking and you can see the bandage is on his front left leg. Next shot shows it back on his front right leg. See more »

Quotes

Hallie Martin: I've been to the rodeo. Twice.
Sonny Steele: Did you stay for the rattlesnake round up?
Hallie Martin: Yes. I stayed. Right till the end. I saw the whole thing.
Sonny Steele: They don't have one. How're you gonna round up a rattlesnake?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film's original soundtrack has been changed in different ways for its two DVD releases:
  • The Image DVD replaces Dave Grusin's beautiful "Freedom Epilogue" score music (where the horse is set free) with a reprise of "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" by Willie Nelson, originally heard during the opening credits. This actually works well, though one wonders why a piece of original score had to be changed.
  • The newer Universal release goes a step further, removing "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" from the opening credits (and in fact from the film completely) as well as "Freedom Epilogue" and replaces them both with a very inappropriate generic harmonica-driven instrumental which is meant to sound like a Willie Nelson song.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
(uncredited)
Written by Ed Bruce
Performed by Willie Nelson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The horse fairy-tale
1 March 2009 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

I like Pollack. I'm not sure there's anything that I wouldn't at least give a chance, as long as he had an important part in the making of it. This is probably the most formulaic thing I've seen of his... which isn't to say that it's necessarily bad. It's just that, well, if you don't see the majority of what happens in this, coming, the likeliest explanation is that you haven't seen one of the many films that follow essentially the same plot. It's not exactly unpredictable. The points of it are also made in a pretty see-through manner, with poignant speeches and the like. But with those in mind, and the fact that this isn't necessarily meant to be taken too seriously, this isn't bad. The direction is effective. Its editing and cinematography are well-done. The acting leaves little to be desired. The writing is good. The characters are at least average. The music is very fitting. That would be the original version, with Willie Nelson performing it, not the other kind. There is a limited amount of language in it, of varying degree, not a lot of which is terribly harsh. The drug/alcohol material is vague, and the sexuality tends to be tastefully done(for being partially set in Las Vegas, this is mighty clean). I recommend this to any lovers of the four-legged animal, Redford, Fonda and/or anyone else who helped create this. 6/10


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