War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 mins | Drama | 25 December 2011

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HISTORY

End credits contain the following statement: "The Producers Wish to Thank The Imperial War Museum; Peter Jackson; The Vintage Aviator Limited; The Maristow Estate, Dartmoor; Dartmoor National Park; Lord and Lady Douro, The Stratfield Saye Estate; Samantha Perahia & Colin Brown, UK Film Council; Bath & Castle Combe Choir; Bath Air Cadets, 93 Squadron, and Hero Collection, Poznan, Poland." Another statement in the end credit reads: "The Red Cross emblem is a protective symbol used during armed conflicts and its use is restricted by law. The Producers wish to thank the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and the British Red Cross Society for authorization to use the red cross emblem in this film."
       In an article by Sarah Lyall in the 12 Apr 2011 issue of NYT in advance of the 14 Apr 2011 opening of the play at the Lincoln Center Theater, Michael Morpurgo, author of the original childrens’ book, noted that it had not been a particular success when it was first published in 1982. Reception to the book changed, he said, when the National Theater in London opened a dramatic stage version in 2007. Morpurgo stated that there were two specific inspirations for his book. One was his conversations with a former WW I soldier, who told him that, “the only person he could talk to . . . [at the front] was his horse.” The other was seeing a stuttering boy who was part of a program in which poor children were brought into contact with farm animals. Although this child was unwilling and unable to speak with other people, he was able to talk to a horse. “I ... More Less

End credits contain the following statement: "The Producers Wish to Thank The Imperial War Museum; Peter Jackson; The Vintage Aviator Limited; The Maristow Estate, Dartmoor; Dartmoor National Park; Lord and Lady Douro, The Stratfield Saye Estate; Samantha Perahia & Colin Brown, UK Film Council; Bath & Castle Combe Choir; Bath Air Cadets, 93 Squadron, and Hero Collection, Poznan, Poland." Another statement in the end credit reads: "The Red Cross emblem is a protective symbol used during armed conflicts and its use is restricted by law. The Producers wish to thank the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and the British Red Cross Society for authorization to use the red cross emblem in this film."
       In an article by Sarah Lyall in the 12 Apr 2011 issue of NYT in advance of the 14 Apr 2011 opening of the play at the Lincoln Center Theater, Michael Morpurgo, author of the original childrens’ book, noted that it had not been a particular success when it was first published in 1982. Reception to the book changed, he said, when the National Theater in London opened a dramatic stage version in 2007. Morpurgo stated that there were two specific inspirations for his book. One was his conversations with a former WW I soldier, who told him that, “the only person he could talk to . . . [at the front] was his horse.” The other was seeing a stuttering boy who was part of a program in which poor children were brought into contact with farm animals. Although this child was unwilling and unable to speak with other people, he was able to talk to a horse. “I suddenly had the idea that of course the horse didn’t understand every word, but that she knew it was important for her to stand there and be there for this child,” Morpurgo was quoted as saying.
       Morpurgo also stated that when the idea first came up of transforming his book into a play using life-sized puppets for the horses, it seemed “like a joke”; however the puppets proved effective, and the play, which opened at the National Theater in London in Oct 2007, was a success.
       A 23 Dec 2009 NYT article by Patrick Healy announced that Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Studios had bought the rights to the book War Horse . A quote from Spielberg cited in the article, stated that his “DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider acquired the rights after reading the book . . .”      
       A 15 Dec 2011 LAT article by Geoff Boucher stated that Kathleen Kennedy first brought the property to Spielberg’s attention after she saw the play.
       In the 9 Dec 2011 issue of HR , Stephen Galloway reported that the budget for the film was $70 million with the total coming to $65 million after tax breaks were factored in. A DV article of the same date by Christy Grosz stated that the film was structured out of England because of tax incentives.
       According to the 9 Dec 2011 HR article, with a 63-day shooting schedule, Warhorse was filmed in several locales across England including Dartmoor, Surrey, and "the Duke of Wellington's storied estate west of London." Grosz's 9 Dec 2011 DV article stated that approximately 5,800 extras were used in the picture and some 300 horses. A total of 14 different horses played “Joey,” with the most prominent animal being “Finder,” the horse star of the film Seabiscuit (2003, see entry). Most of the horse action was staged with live animals, with the major exception being a scene in which “Joey” stumbles and falls, which was accomplished through computer generated effects.
       Jay Fernandez reported that the film was originally scheduled for release on 10 Aug 2011 in a 4 May 2010 HR article. On 29 Sep 2011, Dave McNary and Jeff Sneider reported in DV that the release was being delayed to Christmas Day. According to Pamela McClintock in the 14 Oct 2010 issue of DV , the shuffling of the opening for War Horse allowed for a 12 Aug 2011 opening for The Help (see entry).
       A story in the 23 Nov 2011 issue of HR stated that DreamWorks would hold special “word-of-mouth screenings in ten cities on Sunday, 27 Nov 2011, with Steven Spielberg attending the NYC screening and participating in a question and answer session that would be beamed via satellite to the nine other venues and streamed on MSN.com
       The film opened strong, grossing $14.5 million in its first two days of domestic distribution, and $18.7 million by 27 Dec, according to Andrew Stewart in DV on 2 Jan 2012.
       War Horse was named one of the Top 10 movies of the year by AFI. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Picture; Best Art Direction [Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales]; Best Cinematography [Janusz Kaminski]; Best Music (Original Score) [John Williams]; Best Sound Editing [Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstom]; and Best Sound Mixing [Gary Rydstom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson].
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Oct 2010.
---
Daily Variety
29 Sep 2011.
---
Daily Variety
9 Dec 2011.
---
Daily Variety
19 Dec 2011
p. 2, 23.
Daily Variety
2 Jan 2012
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 2010.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 2011.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 2011
pp. 64-67.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 2012
p. 74.
Los Angeles Times
15 Dec 2011
p. S.27.
Los Angeles Times
23 Dec 2011.
---
New York Times
23 Dec 2009
p. C2.
New York Times
12 Apr 2011
p. C1.
New York Times
23 Dec 2011
p. 1.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Steven Spielberg film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
Key 2d asst dir
Key 2d asst dir
Addl crowd 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
3d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
A cam op
B cam op/Steadicam op
C cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Central loader
Cam trainee
Cam trainee
DOP asst
Still photog
Still photog
Video asst op
Video asst
Video trainee
Gaffer
UK gaffer
Rigging gaffer
HOD elec rigger
Best boy
Elec
Elec
Elec
Balloonlight supv
Console op
Standby rigger
Key grip
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Head tech
Crane tech
Crane tech
Crane tech
Grip trainee
2d unit photog consultant [Devon]
Aerial crew
Chief pilot, Flying Pictures
Cam op, Flying Pictures
Focus puller, Flying Pictures
Aerial op mgr, Flying Pictures
Aerial op coord, Flying Pictures
Eng/Safety coord, Flying Pictures
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Senior art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Standby art dir
Standby art dir
Art dept coord
Draughtsman
Junior draughtsman
Junior draughtsman
Junior draughtsman
Graphic des
Asst graphic des
Specialist res
Conceptual artist
Junior conceptual artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Ed prod asst
Ed prod asst
Negative cutter
Kona Cutting
Laboratory dailies contact
Telecine dailies col
UK Deluxe telecine asst
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Props storeman
Props coord
Standby props
Standby props
Standby props
Chargehand dressing props
Chargehand dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Prophand/Modelmaker
Prophand/Modelmaker
Trainee props
Asst set dec
Asst set dec
Buyer
Asst buyer
Drapesmaster
Drapesman
Drapesman
Const mgr
Daily const mgr
Const coord
Const buyer
Const asst
HOD carpenter
Supv carpenter
Supv carpenter
Supv carpenter
Supv carpenter
Chargehand carpenter
Chargehand carpenter
Chargehand carpenter
Standby carpenter
HOD plasterer
Supv plasterer
Chargehand plasterer
Chargehand plasterer
Chargehand plasterer
Master scenic painter
Supv scenic painter
Supv scenic painter
Chargehand scenic painter
Chargehand scenic painter
Standby painter
HOD stagehand
Standby stagehand
Supv const elec
Greens supv
Greens supv
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Loc const services by
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Ward supv
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Cost coord
Crowd cost supv
Military ward master
Ward master
Ward mistress
Key set cost
Set cost
Set cost
Cost buyer
Cost prod asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Cost asst
Key cost breakdown artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Cost prop maker
Cost cutter
Cost maker
Cost maker
Cost maker
Cost maker
Webbing master
Cost driver
Cost trainee
Cost trainee
Cost trainee
Cost trainee
Master armourer
Supv armourer
Armoury workshop supv
Armoury coord
Armoury eng
Armoury modeller
Armourer/Leather maker
Armourer
MUSIC
Mus exec
Mus coord
Mus scoring mixer
Mus contractor
Mus contractor
Flute solos by
Trumpet solos by
Mus preparation
Mus rec at
Culver City, CA
Choral cond/"The Scarlet and the Blue"
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Sd maintenance
Sd trainee
Sd des/Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Post prod sd services by
A Lucasfilm Ltd. Company
Addl mixer, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
ADR supv, Skywalker Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Skywalker Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley supv, Skywalker Sound
Foley ed, Skywalker Sound
Asst sd des, Skywalker Sound
Asst supv sd ed, Skywalker Sound
Asst ADR ed, Skywalker Sound
Asst dial ed, Skywalker Sound
Apprentice ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley mixer, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Asst re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Asst re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Digital audio transfer, Skywalker Sound
Digital audio transfer, Skywalker Sound
Rec, Skywalker Sound
Rec, Skywalker Sound
Rec, Skywalker Sound
Video services, Skywalker Sound
Video services, Skywalker Sound
Eng services, Skywalker Sound
Eng services, Skywalker Sound
Eng services, Skywalker Sound
Eng services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Client services, Skywalker Sound
Client services, Skywalker Sound
Client services, Skywalker Sound
Post prod sd accountant, Skywalker Sound
Rec, Skywalker Sound
Re-rec eng, Skywalker Sound
Voice casting
Voice casting
ADR mixer
ADR rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Second SFX supv
SFX floor supv
SFX workshop supv
SFX lead senior tech
SFX lead senior tech
SFX lead senior tech
SFX lead senior tech
SFX tech
SFX tech
SFX tech
SFX asst tech
SFX asst tech
SFX asst tech
SFX storeman
SFX coord
SFX runner
SFX animatronic supv
Workshop supv
SFX animatronics floor supv
Sculptor
Sculptor
Sculptor
Animatronics model des
Animatronics model des
Animatronics model des
Animatronics model des
Mould des
Mouldmaker
Pre visualization by
Pre vis supv, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis prod, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis prod mgr, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis artist, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis artist, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis artist, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis artist, The Third Floor, Inc.
Pre vis artist, The Third Floor, Inc.
Visual eff by
VFX supv, Framestore Limited
VFX prod, Framestore Limited
Compositing supv, Framestore Limited
Compositing supv, Framestore Limited
CG supv, Framestore Limited
VFX art dir, Framestore Limited
VFX shoot prod, Framestore Limited
VFX line prod, Framestore Limited
VFX coord, Framestore Limited
FVX data wrangler, Framestore Limited
Lead compositor, Framestore Limited
Lead compositor, Framestore Limited
Lead compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Modeller, Framestore Limited
Modeller, Framestore Limited
Rigger, Framestore Limited
Rigger, Framestore Limited
Texture artist, Framestore Limited
Concept artist, Framestore Limited
Digital matte painter, Framestore Limited
Digital matte painter, Framestore Limited
Animator, Framestore Limited
Animator, Framestore Limited
Animator, Framestore Limited
Look development, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Creature FX TD, Framestore Limited
Creature FX TD, Framestore Limited
Creature FX TD, Framestore Limited
Creature FX TD, Framestore Limited
Creature FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
Lead motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Lead paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Pipeline TD, Framestore Limited
Pipeline TD, Framestore Limited
Avid ed, Framestore Limited
Avid ed, Framestore Limited
Systems support, Framestore Limited
Systems support, Framestore Limited
Data op, Framestore Limited
Data op, Framestore Limited
Element shoot DP, Framestore Limited
Addl concept art by
Concept artist
Concept artist
Main and end titles by
MAKEUP
Make-up des
Key make-up artist
Crowd make-up supv
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up & hair coord
Make-up trainee
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Chief hairdresser
Key hair stylist
Crowd hair supv
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair trainee
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting exec
Casting asst
Casting Germany
Casting Germany
Casting France
Casting scout
Scr supv
Asst scr supv
Horse master
Asst horse master
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Equine artistic adv
Equine hair & make-up supv
Horse dept coord
Horse dept coord
Horse dept coord
Horse dept coord
Horse dept coord
Horse transportation
Horse transportation
Equine supv
Equine supv
Equine hair & make-up artist
Equine hair & make-up artist
Equine hair & make-up artist
Equine hair & make-up artist
Equine hair & make-up artist
Equine make-up trainee
Animal handler
Goose trainer
AHA representative
On-set veterinarian
Prod supv [Wisley]
Prod coord [Devon]
Asst prod coord
Accommodation coord
Prod secy
Financial exec
Financial controller
Prod accountant
Cost accountant
Key asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Accounts asst
Accounts asst
Post prod accountant
Supv loc mgr
Key loc mgr
Unit loc mgr
Unit loc mgr
Unit loc mgr
Unit loc mgr
Unit loc mgr
Horse site mgr
Loc coord
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Dialect coach
Unit pub
Transportation capt
Asst transportation capt
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Transport coord
4x4 transport coord
Action vehicle supv
Action vehicle coord
Lead driver
Eng vintage aviation
Taurus tracking vehicle driver
Russian arm driver
Russian arm op
Russian arm tech
Racing quad driver
Military adv
Military adv
Asst to Mr. Spielberg
Asst to Mr. Spielberg
Prod asst to Mr. Spielberg
Prod assoc to Ms. Kennedy
Personal asst to Ms. Kennedy
Asst to Ms. Seaward
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Healty & safety adv
Healty & safety adv
Unit nurse
Const nurse
Const nurse
Const nurse
Catering
Catering
Clearances & negative check
Clearances & negative check
Post prod exec
Post prod coord
Post eff guy
IT specialist
Facilities provided by
Spec equine surface by
Stage play originally prod by
Dir, Stage play originally prod by The National Th
Dir, Stage play originally prod by The National Th
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Asst stunt coord
Stunt dept coord
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Digital intermediate services provided by
Digital film col, EFILM
DI prod, EFILM
2d digital film col, EFILM
Col asst, EFILM
DI asst prod, EFILM
DI ed, EFILM
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (New York, 1983) and the stage play of the same name by Nick Stafford (London, week of 18 Oct 2007).
MUSIC
"Blue Bonnets over the Border," traditional.
SONGS
"The Scarlet and the Blue," written by John Tams and Adrian Sutton
"Roses of Picardy," written by Frederick E. Weatherly and Haydn Wood, performed by John McCormack
courtesy of RCA Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 2011
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 December 2011
Production Date:
6 August 2010 through 27 October 2010 [63 shooting days]
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby® Digital; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; Datasat Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Arriflex® cameras & lenses; Prints by deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
146
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
47040
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the English countryside, a teenage farm boy, Albert Narracott, watches in amazement as a female horse gives birth to a healthy male foal. Over the next few days, Albert attempts to bond with the newborn animal until the creature is hauled off to an auction in town. Albert's father, Ted, a drunken, down-on-his-luck farmer, is also extremely taken with the horse. At the auction, he engages in a ruthless bidding war with Lyons, the richest man in town. Ted wins the horse after putting a bid in for an outrageous 30 guineas. Unfortunately, back at home, Ted's wife Rosie is outraged by her husband spending so much money on a racing horse, not a farm horse like they need. Although Albert steps up and promises that he will properly train the horse to plow the fields, Rosie is inconsolable, believing the family will soon lose the farm. Naming the horse Joey, Albert quickly earns the thoroughbred's trust. Albert even devises a unique calling system – blowing through his hands to mimic the call of an owl – to have Joey follow him everywhere around the countryside. But, when Joey refuses to allow a plowing collar be placed around his neck, an angry Ted pulls a shotgun on the poor creature. Albert bravely jumps in front of the gun's barrel, saving Joey's life. Although Albert does get Joey to wear the bulky harness, the Narracott farm is a rocky, inhospitable terrain. Albert and Joey try to work the field, but the plow can barely scrape the dry earth. Worse, Lyons, who is also the Narracott's landlord, and several townspeople show up to watch Joey's failure. Then, a rain begins ... +


In the English countryside, a teenage farm boy, Albert Narracott, watches in amazement as a female horse gives birth to a healthy male foal. Over the next few days, Albert attempts to bond with the newborn animal until the creature is hauled off to an auction in town. Albert's father, Ted, a drunken, down-on-his-luck farmer, is also extremely taken with the horse. At the auction, he engages in a ruthless bidding war with Lyons, the richest man in town. Ted wins the horse after putting a bid in for an outrageous 30 guineas. Unfortunately, back at home, Ted's wife Rosie is outraged by her husband spending so much money on a racing horse, not a farm horse like they need. Although Albert steps up and promises that he will properly train the horse to plow the fields, Rosie is inconsolable, believing the family will soon lose the farm. Naming the horse Joey, Albert quickly earns the thoroughbred's trust. Albert even devises a unique calling system – blowing through his hands to mimic the call of an owl – to have Joey follow him everywhere around the countryside. But, when Joey refuses to allow a plowing collar be placed around his neck, an angry Ted pulls a shotgun on the poor creature. Albert bravely jumps in front of the gun's barrel, saving Joey's life. Although Albert does get Joey to wear the bulky harness, the Narracott farm is a rocky, inhospitable terrain. Albert and Joey try to work the field, but the plow can barely scrape the dry earth. Worse, Lyons, who is also the Narracott's landlord, and several townspeople show up to watch Joey's failure. Then, a rain begins to fall, loosening the dirt. Albert continues to push Joey hard and, at last, the plow successfully tills the field. The rain grows into a raging downpour and, in a few hours, the entire field is fully plowed. Although he's achieved victory, Albert rages that his father is a useless drunkard who almost shot the prized beast. Surprisingly, Rosie leaps to her husband's defense, explaining that Ted, who has won several military medals and ribbons, only drinks to forget the horrors of war. After the Narracott farm grows a plentiful crop of turnips, another massive rainstorm hits and the raging waters completely wipe out all the freshly grown vegetables. Unable to pay Lyons his rent, a desperate Ted sells Joey to the army behind his son's back. England has just gone to war with Germany, and Albert tries to enlist so he can stay with his horse, but he is too young. Capt. Nicholls, who has just bought Joey, promises to look after the horse personally and to return him home safely when the war is over. As Joey is led away with the soldiers, Albert ties one of Ted's military ribbons to the horse's reigns and swears that they will be reunited one day. At an army training base, Joey is placed in a stable next to a large black stallion named Topthorn. The two striking animals bond immediately, with Joey handily besting Topthorn during racing exercises. Their real test comes soon enough, though, when the British plan an early morning sneak attack on an unarmed German encampment. With their swords held high, the British soldiers ride Joey, Topthorn and dozens of other horses into the German camp. While many half-awake Germans are cut down by the galloping British, others dash off to the nearby forest. Lying in wait are several machine guns, and the Germans indiscriminately shoot at the horde of British attackers. While Joey makes it safely through the barrage of bullets and Topthorn is similarly unharmed, the same cannot be said of Capt. Nicholls and most of the other horses are killed and their corpses lay in the field alongside the men who rode them. Two earnest, young German soldiers, brothers Gunther and Michael, suggest to their superior officer that instead of just killing the surviving horses perhaps Joey and Topthorn could be used to pull the wounded off the battlefield. Topthorn stubbornly refuses to have a collar placed around his neck, but Joey smartly shows his ebony friend that he has nothing to fear from the harness and the two animals are soon pulling a wagon turned into a makeshift ambulance together. Back at camp, Gunther is ordered to stay behind and tend to the horses while Michael is to advance to the front with the other soldiers. As Michael marches out with his comrades, Gunther ties Ted's war ribbon to his brother's backpack allegedly for good luck. But, as the soldiers march away down the road, Gunther rides up with Joey and Topthorn and spots Michael out of the crowd by the ribbon. Gunther yanks his brother up and the two ride away in the opposite direction. Finding solace in a remote windmill, Gunther and Michael try to get some sleep. Their solace is interrupted when the Germans uncover their hiding place and shoot the boys for desertion. The horses are then found by a young French farm girl, Emilie, who lives close by with her elderly grandfather. A sickly girl, Emilie is entranced by Joey, which she renames Francois, and attempts to train him to jump, which he refuses to do. Soon, another contingent of Germans arrive and ransack Emilie's farm, but the girl is able to keep the horses hidden in the farmhouse attic. The deceit doesn't last long, however, and the Germans confiscate the two horses when Emilie is out riding the next day. Topthorn, who is nursing a severely wounded leg, is chosen first to pull an impossibly heavy German cannon up a steep hill. Sensing his friend's danger, Joey rushes ahead and takes Topthorn's place. Despite his legs constantly threatening to buckle, Joey successfully pulls a large cannon to the top of the hill so that it can be fired at the nearest village. In that village is Albert, now old enough to serve alongside his countrymen. Amidst the heavy, constant barrage of artillery, Albert and his fellow soldiers race across the barbed wire filled battlefield to meet the Germans head on. With a steady arm, Albert takes out a German fortification with a grenade. But, the victory is short-lived when a cloud of poisonous gas descends on Albert and the other soldiers. Further back from the frontline, Topthorn's leg wound gets the best of him. The once mighty animal lies down and dies. Left alone, Joey madly races through the battlefield trying to find safety. Instead of jumping over the barbed wire fences, he dashes directly through them until he's so entangled he can't move at all. Through periscopes held out over their respective trenches, both British and German soldiers spot Joey cowering in the field. One soldier each from both sides come out and, working together, cut Joey free from the painful barbs. Flipping a coin to see who will retain ownership of the horse, the British soldier wins the toss. Returning to camp, Joey is led right past Albert, who cannot see his equine companion since his eyes have been severely damaged by the gas attack. However, word reaches him that a "miraculous horse" has been saved. A doctor declares Joey too wounded to be saved and orders him to be put out of his misery. A crowd gathers as a sergeant points a pistol at Joey's head. But, the hooting sound of an owl is heard in the distance. The crowd parts, revealing Albert calling for his pal. Describing Joey's unique white markings, he convinces everybody that the horse is his. Reluctantly, the doctor agrees to treat Joey just like any other wounded soldier. When the war ends, Albert is told that Joey is to be sold at auction. The good news is that all the other soldiers pool their money so Albert can win the auction. The bad news is that Emilie's grandfather appears to make an outrageous bid on Joey, easily trumping Albert's small stack of cash. Although Emilie has died, the old man wants Joey as a reminder of her. Albert graciously gives Joey up, but the old man is touched by how much the boy and the horse appear to care for each other. The grandfather then reveals that he has Ted's military ribbon and releases both the ribbon and Joey to Albert's care. Returning home to their farm, Albert and Joey are greeted warmly by Rosie and the proud son at last returns the much-travelled war ribbon back to his father. +

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AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.