7.3/10
1,513
33 user 6 critic

Phar Lap (1983)

The true story of an Australian racehorse that became a champion, with the help of a local stableboy.

Director:

Simon Wincer
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig's father dies, Jim takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tom Burlinson, Terence Donovan
Storm Boy (1976)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mike is a lonely Australian boy living in a coastal wilderness with his reclusive father. In search of friendship he encounters an Aboriginal native loner and the two form a bond in the care of orphaned pelicans.

Director: Henri Safran
Stars: Greg Rowe, Peter Cummins, David Gulpilil
Secretariat (2010)
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale
Adventure | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »

Director: Carroll Ballard
Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

To keep the loyalty of a village during the Vietnam war, a U.S. Army officer and his unit struggle to deliver it a live elephant.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Danny Glover, Ray Liotta, Denis Leary
Flicka (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Young Katy claims a wild horse as her own -- an effort to prove to her father that she is capable of one day taking over the family ranch.

Director: Michael Mayer
Stars: Alison Lohman, Tim McGraw, Maria Bello
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Cale Crane catalyzes the rescue and rehabilitation of Sonador, a race horse with a broken leg.

Director: John Gatins
Stars: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Oded Fehr
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A teenager loses his horse in Morocco and gets him back after various daredevil adventures.

Director: Robert Dalva
Stars: Kelly Reno, Vincent Spano, Allen Garfield
Black Beauty (1994)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The fates of horses, and the people who own and command them, are revealed as Black Beauty narrates the circle of his life.

Director: Caroline Thompson
Stars: Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Docs Keepin Time
Red Dog (2011)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.

Director: Kriv Stenders
Stars: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rohan Nichol
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An eccentric chicken farmer, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a penguin sanctuary from fox attacks in an attempt to reunite his family and save their seaside town.

Director: Stuart McDonald
Stars: Shane Jacobson, Sarah Snook, Alan Tudyk
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A mother tells her daughter a fable about the prince of the brumbies, brumby being a term for the feral horses of Australia, who must find its place among its kind, while one man makes it his mission to capture it and tame it.

Director: John Tatoulis
Stars: Caroline Goodall, Russell Crowe, Amiel Daemion
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Burlinson ... Tommy Woodcock
Richard Morgan Richard Morgan ... 'Cashy' Martin
Robert Grubb ... William Nielsen
Simon Wells Simon Wells ... Newsboy
Kelvyn Worth Kelvyn Worth ... Newsboy
Justin Ridley Justin Ridley ... Newsboy
Martin Vaughan ... Harry Telford
Brian Granrott Brian Granrott ... Reporter
Celia De Burgh Celia De Burgh ... Vi Telford
Steven Bannister Steven Bannister ... Cappy Telford (Younger)
Richard Terrill Richard Terrill ... Cappy Telford (Older)
Ron Leibman ... Dave Davis
Ross O'Donovan Ross O'Donovan ... Strapper
Ashley Grenville Ashley Grenville ... Strapper
Les Foxcroft Les Foxcroft ... Brazier Man
Edit

Storyline

Phar Lap, the legendary Australian racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford. Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford's faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock. American-promoter Dave Davis arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his "long shot" status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapses and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was "murdered" by the gambling interests. Written by Hal Erickson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When he beat the odds, they changed the rules. When he broke the records, they weighed him down. But he had one thing on his side...the faith of a boy. Together they lived a legend that inspired a nation and won the heart of the world. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Horse Called Phar Lap See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy Woodcock himself actually appears in the film, portraying a horse trainer. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, in early 1928, Phar Lap's trainer Harry Telford (Martin Vaughan) insists that the horse's name must contain seven letters, because the names of the last four Melbourne Cup winners had contained seven letters. In fact, only one of the previous four Melbourne Cup winners in the period in question, 1924-27, had seven letters in its name - Windbag, in 1925. The other winners in that period were Backwood (1924), Spearfelt (1926) and Trivalve (1927). Nor did the subsequent 1928 winner, Statesman, nor the 1929 winner, Nightmarch (to whom Phar Lap ran third), have seven letters in their names. See more »

Quotes

Dave Davis: We're going into the richest race in history with a horse that's half-fit and lame.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original release opens with Phar Lap's death, with the rest of the film told in flashback. For it's American release where the story of Phar Lap is less known, the opening was removed, making Phar Lap's unexpected death more dramatic. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Emerald City (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Lyrics by Al Jolson and Buddy G. DeSylva
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I stumbled on this movie having never heard of it...I'm glad I did!
16 July 2003 | by techspecSee all my reviews

This movie is the "Rocky" of animal pictures. Based on a true story, it made me want to go and do a little research on the real Phar Lap. Your emotions will span the scale while you watch this movie. It doesn't have an all star cast...or even a recognizable one, but this movie is worth a rental fee or purchase.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed