6.3/10
6,515
35 user 27 critic

The Electric Horseman (1979)

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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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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 film's title "The Electric Horseman" comes from the movie's iconic "electric cowboy suit". The outfit was an electrified cowboy suit which was decorated with hundreds of very small flashing light globes. When Sonny Steele (Robert Redford) rides the rodeo horse, the saddle is a matching electrified one. See more »

Goofs

After Hallie Martin tapes a statement by Sonny Steele in the great outdoors, she drives back to town, sees that it's crawling with cops and returns to warn Steele that he can't go back to town because it's crawling with cops. So what do they do? Ditch her car, get in the camper and drive right into town. See more »

Quotes

Charlotta Steele: [commenting on Sonny Steele's condition] You look like shit... You're just walkin' around to save funeral expenses.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lost in America (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Hands on the Wheel
(uncredited)
Composed by Bill Callery
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Seen this movie 100 times
15 December 2004 | by Eric BeckSee all my reviews

OK, first, to the reviewer that suggested "too much Fonda" and would have liked to see Susan St. James or Jennifer Warren in the role of Alice, you are forbidden from ever reviewing again. Fonda was perfect, and more on that later.

Second, this is not about a cowboy freeing a horse who is about to be drugged, as some reviewers have said. The horse was drugged from the beginning. Sonny noticed it, and that was a contributing factor to his subsequent actions.

This movie is about a man who strayed far from who he was, and who sought to find himself again. The horse is metaphoric: it is drugged, exploited, and broken, just like the man. So, the man attempts to find himself, as he helps the horse find itself again, so to speak. And, in the process of trying to report the story, the Fonda character attempts to find herself as well, for she has become neurotic, pill-popping, and uptight in her quest to become a star reporter. And, of course, as they travel the countryside, we find America.

Back to Fonda. Fonda's casting has always been that of the strong but flawed "career" woman, from "Barbarella", to "Klute", to "Electric Horseman". She is independent, doesn't need a man. As the tough and aggressive reporter in personal crisis, she is cast perfectly. St. James has neither the strength nor the necessary equal dose of vulnerability that Fonda can muster. This is about chemistry as well. Redford and Fonda have teamed up before, and the chemistry is proved.

So this brilliant and simple story illustrates and creatively reinforces the the idea of straying from true nature, and the need to find it again.

VERY good film.


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