6 user 1 critic

Big Spender (2003)

PG | | TV Movie 25 March 2003
Orphan Eddie Burton is not bad, but too many screw-ups land him repeatedly in jail, so his 8-year old son Will, simply abandoned by his 'mother', has nobody else then Eddie's granny. When ... See full summary »


Paul Schneider


Jayne Martin

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Casper Van Dien ... Eddie Burton
Graham Greene ... Jake Cotter
Tara Spencer-Nairn ... Mel Tennant
Matthew Knight ... Will Burton
Corinne Conley ... Rita
Chris Benson Chris Benson ... Officer Acosta
David Black David Black ... Parole Board Member
Randy Butcher ... Andre
Eve Crawford Eve Crawford ... Dr. Reece
Bob Desrosiers Bob Desrosiers ... Seth Travis (as Robert Desrosier)
Warren Dexter Beatty Warren Dexter Beatty ... C.O. #1
Sten Eirik Sten Eirik ... Tree
Danny Foster Danny Foster ... Clay Thomas
Donna Goodhand Donna Goodhand ... Superintendent
Santino Buda Santino Buda ... Luis


Orphan Eddie Burton is not bad, but too many screw-ups land him repeatedly in jail, so his 8-year old son Will, simply abandoned by his 'mother', has nobody else then Eddie's granny. When he hears about a program for convicts working an a foundation's farm for retired race horses, Eddie signs up and proves his talent with Big Spender, who was found completely run down. He nurses the horse back to health, and convinces Jake Cotter, the man in charge, to try a stunt: train him for an new career in jumping, which is a success when his dedicated race jockey Mel Tennant volunteers to ride him again. If he does really well, he may even get a certificate opening the perspective of a real job, which he desperately needs when grandma dies after having him swear he'll get out: the nightmare alternative is to leave Will lingering in the very home that did Eddie no good... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A convict turns his back on life - until a gentle nudge turns him around.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief violence and mild language | See all certifications »



USA | Canada



Release Date:

25 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El indomable Big Spender See more »

Filming Locations:

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


The "sick horse" was actually saved by the film. At one point she was starting to look too good to play sick. See more »


Eddie Burton: Working with animals... they're dependant on you, like children. You have to clean them, feed them. Taking care of them, it made me feel like something, like someone. Until now I don't think I ever did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Big Spender - Hoochie See more »

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User Reviews

sincere but no drama
21 November 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Eddie Burton (Casper Van Dien) is a troubled city guy from Queens. His mother is caring for his son while he's in prison. He gets into a fight. The superintendent wants to reform him. He hears about a horse farm from another prisoner and convinces her to send him on work duty. It's a retirement farm for race horses run by Jake Cotter (Graham Greene). He befriends newly-arrived, abandoned horse named Big Spender. He saves the abused horse from being euthanize with the same candy that its former jockey Mel Tennant (Tara Spencer-Nairn) used to give it.

This Animal Planet film is sincere but lacks any drama or tension. Everything is telegraphed. The horse jumping is probably the only surprise. Casper plays the jerk with a golden heart for the horse inside his outer hardened shell. Tara is too big to be a jockey. Graham is the wise man. The production is weak but otherwise, there is nothing terribly wrong. It is a TV movie of the week for horse lovers.

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