The Screen's Most Famous Horses
It has not really been all that long since horses plied our streets in the days before cars. But it seems that people always have a good impression of this smartest domesticated animal. Indeed, horses even look friendly with their big eyes and soft muzzles. So it is no surprise that people enjoy books and movies starring horses.
Anna Sewell wrote the book Black Beauty in the 1870s. Even if you have never read the book, you know this fine horse and the story told from his point of view. The book was an immediate hit as Black Beauty has been made into at least three movies since the 1940s. When Black Beauty was first published, it made a strong public impression in favor of humane treatment of horses. Anna Sewell, who had spent much of her life working with these animals, wanted to highlight and correct abuses.
My Friend Flicka
This children's novel tells the story of a young rancher's son in Wyoming and the adventures he has with his horse Flicka. A movie was made in the 1940s and another remake will come out in 2006. In the 2006 version, the protaganist is a teenage female, played by a 27-year old actress.
Seabiscuit's story is both dramatic and true. This time, a sort of a runt thoroughbred unexpectedly becomes a race champion during the Great Depression. Seabiscuit's success was a popular story in those grim times. At the turn of the century, Seabiscuit became a legend again, as the subject of a best-selling book and consequent movie adaptation.
Trigger was a real horse too, on the screen and hero of comic books in his own lifetime. Actor Roy Rogers, who appeared in movies and on TV always in the character of a cowboy, bought Trigger in the 1930s. Trigger accompanied cowboy Rogers in all of his movies and TV shows and today, he has his own entry in the Internet Movie Database.
Thanks to Nick at Nite and TV reruns, kids whose parents weren't even born in the 1960s know about Mr. Ed, the talking horse. Alas, he would only talk to his owner, Wilbur, who never tried to convince anyone else he had a horse that could answer the phone. The theme song seems to be more memorable than the actual show. Mr. Ed, like Trigger, was a dark-blonde Palomino horse.