The Saga Of Seeing “War Horse”

29 Dec

Hubby and I celebrated my birthday by eating at our favorite Mexican restaurant Mi Nidito and seeing the new Steven Spielberg film “War Horse”.

Hubby generally doesn’t like seeing movies on The Big Screen.

First of all, it ain’t cheap. Here in NYC, the adult ticket price is $13.00 pp.

And, why are the previews so LOUD?

Also, sadly for Hubby, I like to arrive early to get good seats. That means a lot of “pre-show entertainment” – which means endless sub-par shorts and painful auto-tuned recordings.

People around you talking on their cell phones, munching popcorn in your ears, and rocking your seat.

And, despite you getting there early for the prime seats, there are many late-comers who jostle through in the dark and ask that you move OUT of your prime seats so that they can squeeze in.

Regardless, I happen to like movies on The Big Screen, and Hubby accommodated me for my BDay.

He even let me take his picture at the Star Wars display.

I wanted to see War Horse. I’m a sucker for animal films.

Plus, I like Steven Spielberg films, generally speaking. After all,

who can argue with this track record?

I didn’t read anything about the film before seeing War Horse.

Here are some things that I think would be good to know about the story, if you plan on seeing the film.

From Wikipedia:

Michael Morpurgo wrote the 1982 children’s novel War Horse after meeting World War I veterans in the Devon village of Iddesleigh where he lived. One had been with the Devon Yeomanry, and was involved with horses; another veteran in his village, Captain Budgett, was with the cavalry and told Morpurgo how he had confided all his hopes and fears to his horse.

Both told him of the horrific conditions and loss of life, human and animal, during the Great War. A third man remembered the army coming to the village to buy horses for the war effort: horses were used for cavalry, and as draught animals, pulling guns, ambulances and other vehicles.

Morpurgo researched the subject further and learned that a million horses died on the British side; he extrapolated an overall figure of 10 million horse deaths on all sides.

Of the million horses that were sent abroad from the UK, only 62,000 returned, the rest dying in the war or slaughtered in France for meat.”

Wow. Just wow.

You think about the men lost in war; I hadn’t ever thought about the War Horses in World War I.

(I need to ask my Father or my Uncle about my Grandfather’s involvement in The Great War. Here he is circa 1917, when he was about 19 years old.)

But back to the film, and the horses.

Wikipedia says:

Representatives of the American Humane Society were on set at all times to ensure the health and safety of all animals involved, and the Society awarded the film an “outstanding” rating for the care that was taken of all the animals during the production.”

Good to know. Some of the scenes are rather hard to watch. This information is good to know going into the theatre.

An animatronic horse was used for some parts of the scenes with barbed wire; the wire was rubber prop wire.”

Hubby and I both cried a lot through this movie. We’re both suckers that way.

During filming fourteen different horses were used as the main horse character Joey, eight of them portraying him as an adult animal, four as a colt and two as foals; four horses played the other main equine character, Topthorn. Up to 280 horses were used in a single scene. A farrier was on set to replace horseshoes sucked off in the mud during filming, and the horses playing the main horse characters had a specialist equine make-up team, with their coats dyed and markings added to ensure continuity.”

Spielberg is quoted as saying “The horses were an extraordinary experience for me. I was really amazed at how expressive horses are and how much they can show what they’re feeling.”

I liked the movie. Maybe not Spielberg’s best, but it certainly got me thinking a lot about the War Horses of WWI.

A documentary inspired by the film and telling the true-life stories of horses sent from the UK to the battlefields of World War I is planned. The play and film versions of War Horse are credited with renewing interest in the equine charity, the Brooke Trust, which was founded in 1930 to aid old World War I war horses.”

Now, after reading all of this, I just might want to see this movie again.

Hubby probably won’t.

Oh, that $13.00 adult ticket price?

The ticket seller took one look at Hubby and me, and automatically charged us the $9.50 Senior price each.

That almost hurt more than watching the barbed wire scene.




6 Responses to “The Saga Of Seeing “War Horse””

  1. Susan December 29, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I just don’t think I can go see this one. As a child I was forbidden to watch “Lassie” because I cried from the opening credits to the closing credits. I knew the dog would get into trouble (likely because of stupid human behavior), I knew the dog would likely be injured (even if in a Hollywood sort of way) and I knew the dog would come out alive in the end. That had to happen, right? Otherwise there would be no more Lassie. But, I was inconsolable and my mother finally put her foot down. I am a hundred times worse about horses than I was about dogs. Nope, gotta pass on this one, lest someone call in the medics for the blubbering middle aged woman in the theater. (Even with your wonderful review!!)

    • sallanscorner December 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      I know – as we were watching it, there were times I asked myself “Why did I want to see this movie?” But as I think about it afterwards, I DID get something out of it. Maybe you’ll see it when it comes out on dvd…

  2. margiesmom December 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    The senior discount price? Seriously?? I don’t understand. Weren’t we little kids having mini yard sales at the end of your driveway just the other day??

    • sallanscorner December 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      I’m glad that you too are outraged by that! LOL – I am at least a decade away from lawfully scoring the senior discounts. And yes, those yard sales seem like just yesterday! 🙂

  3. CMrok93 December 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Without a doubt, this is Spielberg trying his hardest to manipulate the hell out of his audience but it somehow works and brought me into the story despite some of the very corny moments. The cast doesn’t really have any big-names either, but they are all great in each of their own respective roles as well. Great review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

    • sallanscorner December 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      I totally agree – there were some moments that I was astonished that Spielberg stooped to (the “Gone With The Wind” sky at the end – to name one) but, yes – the movie ultimately got under my skin, too. And you’re so right about the cast – all great. Thanks for reading – I’m going to check out your review now.

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