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Dreamer - Inspired by a True Story

Dreamer - Inspired by a True Story

4.5 13
Director: John Gatins

Cast: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Elisabeth Shue


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A man and his young daughter face almost impossible odds as they struggle to help an injured horse return to the racetrack in this family-friendly drama. Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is a horse trainer whose career has gone into a bit of a slump, and after years as his own boss, he's signed on to work for Palmer (David Morse), a breeder whose wealth and success has given


A man and his young daughter face almost impossible odds as they struggle to help an injured horse return to the racetrack in this family-friendly drama. Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is a horse trainer whose career has gone into a bit of a slump, and after years as his own boss, he's signed on to work for Palmer (David Morse), a breeder whose wealth and success has given him a certain degree of arrogance. While Ben has learned to keep his mouth shut around his boss, he forgets himself when one of his favorite horses, Sonador, breaks its leg during an important race. Palmer insists that the horse should be put down on the spot, but Ben doesn't have the heart to kill the animal, especially since his young daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning), is in the stands watching. Ben and Palmer have harsh words with one another, and Ben is fired, but is allowed to take Sonador with him when he leaves. Ben has a hard time convincing anyone that the injured horse has any potential, especially his father, Pop (Kris Kristofferson), a fellow trainer who rarely sees eye to eye with his son. But Cale loves the horse, and Ben believes that Sonador can make a comeback with the right care, and together with stable men Balon (Luis Guzman) and Manolin (Freddy Rodriguez), he sets out to put the filly on the road to recovery. As its subtitle suggests, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story was based on the story of Mariah's Storm, a filly who broke a leg during a race in 1993, but a year later came back to win the Arlington Heights Oaks, and in 1995 won the Turfway Breeder's Cup.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It's pretty tough these days to find movies that are suitable for viewing by the whole family without being puerile or saccharine. But Dreamer is just that, a skillfully assembled film that takes familiar elements and puts a fresh spin on them. Veteran trainer Ben Crane (Kurt Russell), working for a wealthy but obnoxious racehorse owner (David Morse), quits his job and accepts as part of his severance agreement a once-promising filly named Sonador, who has been sidetracked by a broken leg. Ben's daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning), has taken a fancy to the animal and believes Sonador (Spanish for "Dreamer") can regain her form and resume racing. Ben isn't so sure, but as a lark he makes Cale the filly's legal owner, a responsibility she takes very seriously. Based on the real-life story of Mariah's Storm, winner of the 1995 Turfway Breeders' Cup, Dreamer is everything you might expect from such movies; it shamelessly tugs on the heartstrings and builds to a predictable climax. But the script has a little more bite than most of this type, and the actors bring more personality and spirit to their characterizations than the plot demands. Elisabeth Shue, playing the supportive wife and mother, is underused, and Kris Kristofferson growls a bit too much as Ben's crusty father -- but overall the cast really shines in this picture. It's a film that consistently exceeds expectations, like Sonador herself.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kurt Russell Ben Crane
Dakota Fanning Cale Crane
Elisabeth Shue Lilly Crane
Kris Kristofferson Pop Crane
Oded Fehr Prince Sadir
Luis Guzman Balon
Freddy Rodriguez Manolin
David Morse Palmer
Ken Howard Bill Ford
Holmes Osborne Doc Fleming
Antonio Albadran Prince Tariq
John Moyer Security Officer
Kayren Butler Teacher
Tommy Barnes Short Steward
Frank Hoyt Taylor Chairman
David Shamieh Man at Sadir's Door
Varkas Everest Prince Sadir's Horseman
Dick Allen Veteran Gambler
Donna Barton-Brothers Female Reporter
Danny Beene Emergency Vet
John Newberg Beefeater
Adam Tomei Reporter
Rhoda Griffis Classroom Mother
Hutchison Hancock Betting Window Clerk
Rex Peterson Emergency Medical Vet
Trevor Denman Track Announcer
Ed Burgart Claiming Track Announcer
Mark Warrack Texas Horseman

Technical Credits
John Gatins Director,Screenwriter
Julie Adair Stunts
Ashok Amritraj Executive Producer
Joshua Bell Songwriter
Gloria Belz Makeup
Joe Bucaro Stunts
Stacy Cohen Executive Producer
John Debney Score Composer
Kenny Delbert Sound Mixer
Alan Edmisten Asst. Director
William M. Elvin Asst. Director
Stephanie Seaman Girard Set Decoration/Design
Sarah Halley-Finn Casting
Nick Hamson Associate Producer
Randi Hiller Casting
Jon Jashni Executive Producer
Gary Jay Camera Operator
Bill Johnson Executive Producer
Bill Johnson Executive Producer
Elliot Koretz Sound/Sound Designer
Rhea Lowenthal Costumes/Costume Designer
John "Buzz" Moyer Camera Operator
Mark Munoz Stunts
Fred Murphy Cinematographer
Jane Oshita Stunts
Roee Sharon Peled Asst. Director
Scott Plauche Art Director
Brian Robbins Producer
David Rosenbloom Editor
Judy Ruskin-Howell Costumes/Costume Designer
Caitlin Scanlon Executive Producer
Lars Sylvest Associate Producer
Brent Thomas Production Designer
Mike Tollin Producer
Robert C. Vazquez Special Effects Supervisor
Rachel A. Walker Costumes/Costume Designer
Katherine Wright Costumes/Costume Designer


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Dreamer - Inspired by a True Story 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Labradorlover0SM More than 1 year ago
I love Dreamer and Sonya is beautiful. I really think a better named for Sonya is Flicka. The beginnig was sad. The middle was also sad when the dad gave away Sonya. The end was great. Sonya is beautiful like this horse I know who is just like Sonya.Her name is Gracie. Good movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite character in this book was Cale, because. she inspired me by having a dream.I liked the part of the book when Cale’s father brought her a horse home but only because the horse had brokenleg.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was really,really good. however,i wished that there were more races in it but oh well!i also loved how it showed real horses that exist today, (though Sonador doesnt)such as Giant's Causeway, sire of Noble Causeway.loosely based on a true story, it rules!
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you want to watch something thats worth renting this is it it is a good family movie to watch and its just a feel good film dakota fanning is wonderful as always and so are all the other actors i would recommend this film to everyone, its worth the money
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this movie down at a beautiful cinema in Fishers , Indiana. My mom liked it , And I liked it too. I think both Dakota Fanning , & , Kurt Russal should get an acadamy for this because they really diserve it. A nd I just bought the dvd today. Go out and get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a must have for the whole family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best movies i have seen period. terrific cast. good message on family and persistence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was just a wonderfully clean movie! Grabs at your heart strings. A real joy to watch! It was one of those movies that ends and you say... "That was a good show!" It was actually my Daughter who bought the DVD tonight, and after watching it, I am going on line to purchase one of my own! You could certainly enjoy watching it over and over! It is one the whole family can sit and enjoy together, and you don't have to worry about bad content.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Want a family movie that everyone can love? This is it. Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, and the rest all give top-notch performances in this great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, Dakota Fanning is in it. I needn't say anymore. I think she's the WORST and most OBNOXIOUS actress (if she's even worthy to be called so) in the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago