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List - "Top 10 Horse Racing Movies"

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  • List - "Top 10 Horse Racing Movies"

    Like any list the author's selections can be debated, however there is at least one film I've never seen on this list: 1956's "The Killing" and 1978's "Casey's Shadow"

    (as spied by Equidaily.com)

    Bill Christine (LA Times) "Top 10 horse-racing movies of all-time"

    abridged list (click on link above for more details about and why chosen)

    10. "A Day at the Races," 1937**

    9. "Casey's Shadow," 1978

    8. "The Black Stallion," 1979

    7. "National Velvet," 1945

    6. "Bite the Bullet," 1975

    5. "Premieres Armes," 1950

    4. "Seabiscuit," 2003

    3. "The Killing," 1956 - rated by IMDB as the 141st greatest film of all time ....

    2. "Champions," 1984

    1. "Phar Lap," 1983 - I added in a link to a fan site
    ** TCM just showed this last month; I DVR'd it and couldn't despite three tries get through the first 40 minutes - I'm just not a Marx Bros. fan. Edited to add this youtube.com clip someone did of the film

    Other movies have passing elements of racing in them - like the great 1971 Michael Caine flick "Get Carter" with racing from Newcastle Racecourse.
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Mar. 3, 2008, 04:28 PM.

  • #2
    I have to throw "Run for the Roses" in there, circa 1977. That was the year I 'discovered' horse racing (not a bad year, huh?) and to my third grade brain, that movie was the coolest.
    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

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    • #3
      Phar Lap It broke my heart as a child.
      *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
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      • #4
        Casey's Shadow-- saw it in the theater when I was about seven. It still is one of my favorites, and I wish I had it on DVD. Other than that, I would have to say Phar Lap--what a tearjerker
        The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
        Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
        Member of the COTH Enabler Clique

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by pinkdiamondracing View Post
          Casey's Shadow... and I wish I had it on DVD.
          I'm sure copies can be had for less, but Casey's Shadow on DVD

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          • #6
            I just can't believe that Let it Ride isn't on that list....
            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

            My CANTER blog.

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            • #7
              How can Dreamer not be on this list??? I am outraged!! Just kidding, that movie made me want to gouge my eyeballs out, I thought racing stripes was more realistic! I remember Casey's Shadow vaguely, that was a good one.
              McDowell Racing Stables

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              • #8
                I actually liked Dreamer a lot. I just had to avert my eyes from the scenes in the sling and such. Kind of like not watching Spirit lap water and have eyebrows. There's always something.
                We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
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                • #9
                  Dreamer....

                  *giggles hysterically*

                  I am embarassed to say that I've only seen two of the movies on this list. I think I need to do some catching up!
                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                  • #10
                    I'm kind of shocked that the Black Stallion is below some of the others. For artistic purposes and glorious pan shots alone it should be higher up, not to mention that lump in my throat I always get during the final race!

                    Casey's Shadow biased me against white footed horses, LOL. Every time I see one, particularly a chestnut, I hear Walter Mathau singsonging "4 white socks cut off its nose and feed it to the crows...."

                    Phar Lap. So sad. Seabiscuit, National Velvet and A Day at the Races are all great (I like old movies). Champions is awesome if not a bit, well, British. I have the Aldaniti race on DVD and it's awesome.

                    Let it Ride should be on the list!
                    "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Phar Lap - hands down the best racing film ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dreamer

                        As a cast member of Dreamer, may I plead the case for it by saying, the focus of the movie was not the horse racing, it was about the family, and how racing both drovfe the family apart, and ultimately racing brought the family back together. And yes-- I know Laurie-- as a person also within the racing industry I thought a lot of the horse racing parts were Hokey. They tried to make the racing scenes as authentic as we could, and I know the paddock scene at the Breeder's cup wasn't realisitc--because we don't hang the overgirths around the horse's necks, but we had so many horses on that shoot, it was the only way I could ensure the right horse had on the right size overgirth.
                        The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
                        Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
                        Member of the COTH Enabler Clique

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                        • #13
                          "The Killing" is terrific. More so if you like Sterling Hayden.

                          I am not generally a fan of Stanley Kubrick unless I'm looking forward to a nap. But back before he was *Stanley Kubrick*, he could make a taut, thrilling movie, like this one or Paths of Glory, both clocking in at under 90 mins.

                          Thanks for posting the list.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Loved Phar Lap, although so sad.

                            I've never seen a few of those. Have to look them up.

                            I actually had an aide client (my PT job is as a home health aide) switch off Dreamer almost to the end. She was watching it one day as I cleaned her house, and she said wasn't that a neat horse movie. So I was pointing out horsey holes in it. She finally shut it off to finish after I left.

                            Although I must admit, I know one that makes me gag worse. Have any of you ever seen the old alleged Seabiscuit movie with Shirley Temple? If you haven't, don't bother looking it up. The description gives you all the info you need to make a decision.

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                            • #15
                              TOTALLY agree about "Champions"

                              It was an amazing story in real life and the movie did it justice brilliantly. Sure its British, but it's a totally inspiring true story from that side of the pond.

                              There is another one but I can't think of it. I know I saw it and adored it. But damn if I can think of the name of it.


                              ~Emily
                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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                              • #16
                                Have seen all of these except Premieres Armes. Champions is fantastic! (does anyone know how to obtain this movie nowadays?)

                                Saw Bite the Bullet in the theatre - the slow motion scenes of horses struggling and collapsing in the desert of heat exhaustion are still vivid 30+ years later. It's a bit gruesome, if I remember correctly.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                                  Like any list the author's selections can be debated, however there is at least one film I've never seen on this list: 1956's "The Killing" and 1978's "Casey's Shadow"

                                  (as spied by Equidaily.com)

                                  Bill Christine (LA Times) "Top 10 horse-racing movies of all-time"

                                  abridged list (click on link above for more details about and why chosen)



                                  ** TCM just showed this last month; I DVR'd it and couldn't despite three tries get through the first 40 minutes - I'm just not a Marx Bros. fan. Edited to add this youtube.com clip someone did of the film

                                  Other movies have passing elements of racing in them - like the great 1971 Michael Caine flick "Get Carter" with racing from Newcastle Racecourse.
                                  Wow -- now I know I really AM a horse racing film geek.

                                  I have everyone of those films on tape/DVD EXCEPT "Bite the Bullet." Anyone seen it available? I LOVED that movie, but haven't been able to find it except on video.

                                  I have Casey's Shadow on VSH -- I didn't think much of the movie, but it was filmed down where I use to train racehorses and first got my trainer's license, so I have a soft spot for it. The red brick church in the opening credits is the church I got married in and the "bush" track with all the Cajuns is where I used to fit up my horses....it's where I met my future ex-husband (also a Cajun).

                                  Memories....

                                  As far as racing movies that are accurate, I would have to go with Phar Lap and Champions.

                                  "Dreamer," -- wow -- was that a stinker. They kind of lost me when I noticed that Dreamer the Filly had a penis.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Calico View Post
                                    Have seen all of these except Premieres Armes. Champions is fantastic! (does anyone know how to obtain this movie nowadays?)
                                    .
                                    I've seen it on Amazon and Ebay in the past. You might start there.

                                    Wait, I found it for you ;o) :
                                    http://www.amazon.com/Champions-Juli...4594697&sr=8-3
                                    "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

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                                    • #19
                                      I really liked Seabiscuit.. and for more than the races. The importance to the era, the 30's, the DEPRESSION, and how much it meant to people. Seabiscuit got more press in 1938 than any famous human of the time!

                                      I love how the movie was done, the reference to families, struggle, and the idea of having a purpose.

                                      It was a very well done film, and I loved it.

                                      I also loved the Black Stallion, but I was so young when I saw that.. and read all the books.. it doesn't stick out in my mind as much now.

                                      Seabiscuit it is for me.. and the fact that my new OTTB looks exactly like the horse they brought out as "War Admiral" in that scene at the stables at night, is also a plus for me.
                                      One of a Kind Studio
                                      Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.

                                      New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.

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                                      • #20
                                        Is Seabiscuit not a bit American, or Phar Lap not a bit Australian? Lads, good racing is good racing.

                                        Champions is head and shoulders above the others on the list. Well acted, with one of the leading actors of his generation, John Hurt, as the main actor. The horse footage is second to none, some of the cinematography of the horses on the gallops at Lambourn is gorgeous, and the racing and training scenes are the real deal. Plus, Aldaniti got to play himself in the movie.

                                        Here's the race that inspired the film. I saw a pub full of grown men choking back tears that day, a very emotional race. BTW, the 2nd placed horse/rider were an inspiring story of their own. Spartan Missile was owned-bred-trained AND ridden by 54 year old John Thorne. He also had bred the dam, Polaris Missile, who herself had ran in the National, ridden by Thorne's son. Thorne sadly died in a fall several months later.

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