The Black Stallion (1979)
The first of the literary series written by Walter Farley, The Black Stallion is about a horse and a boy who are shipwrecked onto a desert island. They eventually come together to form a bond which will never separate them. Interestingly, it features Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney who also stars in National Velvet. Rooney, born in 1920 and a former child star, appeared in many horse films. While not considered an accomplished rider, Rooney was certainly a horse lover and a regular visitor to Santa Anita race track in California.
Hidalgo stars Viggo Mortensen, who shot to fame in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Based on a true story, a cowboy called Frank Hopkins and his mustang, Hidalgo, travel from the Wild West of America to the Middle East. They compete in an endurance race against Arabian horses. Five horses were used to represent Hidalgo in the film, but the one Viggo loved the most was called T.J. Indeed he loved him so much, he bought him.
The Horse Whisperer (1998)
If you want romance set within a horse background this is the film for you. The literary best-seller, written by Nicholas Evans, was filmed in the stunning location of America’s Southern Montana. A-listers Kristen Scott Thomas and Robert Redford star alongside a 13-year-old Scarlett Johansson. Redford also directed the film. The Horse Whisperer is about a girl who suffers a traumatic riding accident. Her mum, who is struggling her own issues, wants to fix her daughter and horse, so they travel to the mountains to meet a famous Horse Whisperer.
A heart-warming film about Seabiscuit, a 15hh racehorse who lifted America during the depression era of the late 1930s. Popcorn Deelites was one of six horses to portray Seabiscuit in the 2003 film. Popcorn’s speed was used to show Seabiscuit breaking out of the gate at the start of the race. Based on history, Seabiscuit and his jockey Johnny ‘Red’ Pollard both had to overcome physical and psychological challenges, which is why they became so popular with the American public. Seabiscuit won America’s richest race, the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940. The movie made around $150m at the box office.
War Horse (2011)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film followed the celebrated book, written by Michael Morpurgo, and play. The story is about a boy and a horse separated and then re-united by the horrors of World War I. The story represents the role horses played in the Great War. It’s the most recent film on our list and we suggest you have the tissues handy as its realism makes it a tear-jerker.