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War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 25 December 2011 (USA)
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Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Lee Hall (screenplay), Richard Curtis (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,734 ( 391)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irvine ... Albert Narracott
Peter Mullan ... Ted Narracott
Emily Watson ... Rose Narracott
Niels Arestrup ... Grandfather
David Thewlis ... Lyons
Tom Hiddleston ... Capt. Nicholls
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Maj. Jamie Stewart
Celine Buckens ... Emilie
Toby Kebbell ... Geordie Soldier
Patrick Kennedy ... Lt. Charlie Waverly
Leonard Carow ... Michael
David Kross ... Gunther
Matt Milne ... Andrew Easton
Robert Emms ... David Lyons
Eddie Marsan ... Sgt. Fry
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Storyline

On the outbreak of the First World War, Albert's beloved horse 'Joey' is sold to the Cavalry by his Father. After being sent to France, in a bid to survive, Joey has an unexpected journey across war torn Europe. Albert enlists in the British Army, and is wounded during the Battle of the Somme. Whilst recovering in Hospital, he learns of a Horse, found in no mans land.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | India

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

25 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caballo de guerra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$66,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,512,000, 23 December 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$79,884,879, 3 May 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,584,879, 3 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Specially designed mud was used to make the battle scenes look authentically filthy. See more »

Goofs

When the Germans begin their march, Gunther ties Albert's flag to the left of Michael's bag. Later when they are doing the march down the road, the flag is now tied to the right. See more »

Quotes

Emilie: And you've never done a brave thing in your life?
Grandfather: Maybe there are different ways to be brave. Did you know the French have the best carrier pigeons? And this could be the difference in the war - our messages getting through.
Emilie: I don't want to hear about the birds.
Grandfather: They are released at the front and told to go home - this is all they know. But to get there they must fly over war. Can you imagine such a thing? Here you are flying over so much pain and terror - and you know you can never look down. ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Annie, Get Your Glock (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Scarlet and the Blue
By John Tams and Adrian Sutton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A rouser
24 December 2011 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

I have not seen a better movie than War Horse to introduce mature youngsters to the concept of war and its effects. In addition, the idea of WWI: the Great War, the war to end all wars is a history lesson only movies can make real. Besides, it's a rousing adventure.

Steven Spielberg has helmed another sentimental favorite about a boy and his horse, whom he finds after the horse has been drafted. If you marry The Black Stallion with All Quiet on the Western front, then you have an idea of the mix: audience pleasing characters, their horses, and war as in Saving Private Ryan sans the flying body parts. The trenches are well-known images by now, but Spielberg brings a measure of reality that needs not the blood and guts to transmit the horror.

War Horse is not Schindler's List because it plays the sentiment card a bit too boldly with music that demands specific responses the audience could achieve without the coaching. However, the visual imagery is stunning, more like the John Ford epic silhouetting than the David Lean expansiveness. Yet, both artists are there in Spielberg's art.

Those horses: Joe is the horse sought after by his nurturing young man, Albert (Jeremy Irvine), and both the Brit and German armies as a touchstone of the humanity the director so carefully husbands. The scene when a Brit and a German soldier suspend the war to help the horse is a memorable manipulation of the theme of war's insanity. It's not the first time an artist has taken the theme of a time out of war to show its absurdity in the face of enduring humanity.

Although the film is about a half hour too long and the director's themes too obvious, he has achieved a renaissance for old fashioned quality filmmaking: gorgeous shots, sympathetic characters, epic themes, and a plot easy to follow. Over it all favors the loving, childlike director, who appeals to the youth in us and the hope for mankind.


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