Movie Nights That Say “Neigh!” Or, Five Great Horse Movies

by | Jan 31st, 2011 | 11:00AM | Filed under: Movie Lists, Movies

Secretariat(I chose to go with the Monty Python pseudo-tribute for this title’s post instead of “Whoa, Nelly!” Did I make the right choice?)

As you all know, I’m a huge animal-lover, and almost always enjoy movies that revolve around creatures great and small.  Horse-centric films are no exception, but there haven’t been a heck of a lot of really great ones lately… until Secretariat hit theaters in October.

Since redbox is now carrying Disney’s take on the Thoroughbred who won the coveted Triple Crown, I thought it would be fun to review what I consider to be some of the top horse movies of all-time.

My Five Favorite Horse Movies

5) The Horse Whisperer – This 1998 drama, directed by and starring Robert Redford, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Nicholas Evans. While I could’ve chosen to be bitter about the “whisperer” craze this film set off — which endures to this day — instead I’ll simply remember the touching story of a man with remarkable equine-communication abilities and a very young ScarJo who has a hard time believing he’s for real.

4) Seabiscuit – Nominated for seven Academy Awards and two Golden Globes in 2003, Seabiscuit recounts the true story of a horse that everyone wrote off — except jockey Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire), owner Charles S. Howard (Jeff Bridges) and trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), who probably needed the horse even more than the horse needed them.

3) Secretariat – Diane Lane and John Malkovich play the feisty racing horse’s owner and trainer, and they’re determined to show the world that “Big Red” is a champion. Meanwhile, Big Red is out to prove that slow and steady is not the only way to win a race!

2) National Velvet – This classic, starring Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, won two Oscars in 1945 and was nominated for three others. It’s the fictional story of precocious pre-teen Velvet Brown (Taylor) who believes so strongly that her beloved horse Pi can win the Grand National that she’s prepared to disguise herself as a male jockey and take the situation into her own hands.

1) The Black Stallion – We’re going back to 1979 for my #1 pick, which is an adaptation of a 1941 classic children’s book about young Alec, a boy shipwrecked on a desert island, and the gorgeous Arabian stallion he comes to befriend. (Mickey Rooney’s in this one, too!)

What do you think of my picks?

What are some of your favorite horse movies?


Secretariat is now available at redbox — reserve a copy tonight!

15 Responses to “Movie Nights That Say “Neigh!” Or, Five Great Horse Movies”

  1. Nick
    Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Does Return to Snowy River count? It’s a Disney classic and by far my favorite movie featuring horses.

  2. Joe Allen
    Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:57 am

    All great movies. The top of my list would be “Hidalgo”.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on January 31, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    1988 hot to trot…

  3. Bryant Hudson
    Posted on February 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I’m with Joe. I enjoyed Hidalgo as well.

  4. Vicki Smith
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Must say my #1 is Hidalgo as well. Can’t believe that isn’t in your top 5 somewhere. I stop and watch that movie any time I see it on.

  5. Jeri
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

    The Man From Snowy River, Hidalgo, The Black Stallion, Misty. Great horse flicks!!

  6. Laurie
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm


  7. Joy Julian
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Not to mention Hildago. That was a great horse movie, too. I agree that Seabiscuit was a great movie, but really shouldn’t be the #1 pick?

  8. Leanne
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I can watch Hidalgo, The Black Stallion & The Man From Snowy River over and over, they definitely are in the top 5 on my list!

  9. Becky Hastings
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    misty ,flicka , red pony,

  10. Mary Kay Amidei
    Posted on February 5, 2011 at 2:48 am

    I agree with all the above selections. Just saw Secretariat and it was great also!

  11. Mary Kay Amidei
    Posted on February 5, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Secretariat is another family horse story winner!

  12. Mary Kay Amidei
    Posted on February 5, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Great family inspirational horse movie!

  13. Jennifer Sci Fi Friend
    Posted on February 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Love your list. Black Stalion still chokes me up, sigh. What about Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron? Lovely soundtrack and interesting visually for an animated film.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on February 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm