(1983)

Critic Reviews

55

Metascore

Based on 6 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
Variety
Tom Burlinson is very effective as the shy stable-boy who becomes devoted to the courageous horse. Martin Vaughan is impressive as the grimly determined trainer who leases the horse in the first place, as is Celia de Burgh, luminous as his loyal but neglected wife. Ron Leibman practically walks away with the picture as Davis, the smooth American horseowner, and Judy Morris is quietly effective as his naive, talkative wife.
88
TV Guide Magazine
Although the film plays a little too heavily on this patriotic theme, its simple boy-and-his-horse story is beautifully effective.
75
It tells its story crisply, and it doesn't hesitate to exlore the seamy side - i.e., the money side - of the racing game, along with the usual stuff about galloping to glory.
70
The New York Times
The movie Phar Lap is as much of a crowd pleaser as the champion Australian race horse for whom it is named. In a gently rousing style that should appeal in equal measure to adults and children.
25
Boston Globe
Phar Lap wastes its brilliant potential through embarrassingly inept acting, a cloying soundtrack, stereotyped characters and pedestrian direction. [13 Jul 1984]
25
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Phar Lap is another Australian horsy movie starring an American actor, Ron Leibman (Norma Rae), but this time the American's performance is the only redeeming feature in this otherwise tedious, slow-moving Down-Under tale about a fast-moving horse that should have been named Rocky. [20 Jul 1984]

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