4.0 25
Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Joe Johnston, Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Louise Lombard


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Joe Johnston's adventure film Hidalgo arrives on DVD with a sharp widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. French and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded as well. This THX-certified disc does a superb job of capturing the originalSee more details below


Joe Johnston's adventure film Hidalgo arrives on DVD with a sharp widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. French and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded as well. This THX-certified disc does a superb job of capturing the original theatrical experience of the film. Supplemental materials include a nine-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that touches on aspects of production as well as the history of the real people and events depicted in the film. A more extensive featurette on the stallions is available for those with PCs that have DVD-ROM drives. Trailers for a handful of other releases round out this first-rate title from Touchstone.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A mixture of Indiana Jones and Lawrence of Arabia seasoned with old-fashioned horse opera, this stirring adventure movie falls just short of "classic" designation but warrants several viewings for its lavish production values and ebullient action sequences. Purportedly based on the real-life exploits of one Frank T. Hopkins (played here by Viggo Mortensen), Hidalgo takes place in 1890, by which time the former cavalry dispatch rider and champion endurance rider has been reduced to working in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Hopkins is challenged by Sheik Riyadh (Omar Sharif) to compete against the finest Arabian stallions in "the Ocean of Fire" -- a 3,000-mile race across the blazing Middle Eastern desert. Hopkins and his compact mustang aren't given much chance of finishing the race, much less winning it, but a competing English noblewoman (Louise Lombard) arranges to sabotage the American, just in case. Joe Johnston is no stranger to high adventure, having directed Jurassic Park III and The Rocketeer, and he imbues the material with thematic and pictorial flourishes worthy of the most memorable big-screen epics. Standout sequences include a breathtaking attempt by Hopkins to outrun a raging sandstorm and his thrilling rescue of Riyadh's kidnapped daughter (Zuleikha Robinson) from bloodthirsty Bedouins. The sober, brooding quality that Mortensen brings to most of his roles is particularly apt for Hopkins, a freedom-loving loner haunted by the abuse of Indians he witnessed while riding for the U.S. Cavalry. Sharif's fine performance invariably invites comparison to his supporting turn in 1962's Lawrence, and we're happy to report that he's every bit as effective in this film. While Hidalgo plainly lacks that hard-to-define something that separates the classic from the merely good, it succeeds magnificently as invigorating escapist entertainment -- and there's certainly nothing ignoble about that.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Its producers would love nothing more than for their film to be compared to Lawrence of Arabia (1962), but while it's got plenty of sand and Omar Sharif in a shora, this action-adventure is no Lawrence. It has neither the trademark scope nor bracingly flinty characterizations of David Lean, nor does it even have the cinematography of another similar film, The Black Stallion (1979). Despite this, Hidalgo (2004) is a surprisingly fun, brisk adventure. Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut, and sometimes even the Hollywood system gets one right. In this case, the lucky parties are the homogenized corporate culture of Disney, mixed with the former effects-guy milieu of Joe Johnston, blended with the faux-stirring histrionics of screenwriter John Fusco. (For an Italian guy from Connecticut, Fusco must be really into horses -- his last film was 2002's wretchedly titled Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). Somehow, it all works out, probably in no small part to rapid-fire editing and a commendably go-for-broke performance from Viggo Mortensen, who must be a little saddle sore after this and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but persuasively plays a fairly dumb cowboy who nevertheless trumps a variety of goofy, central-casting baddies by employing his all-American horse sense. It's made to be rented, seen on cable, or caught on an in-flight feature, but Hidalgo fulfills its humble ambitions, and that's more than you can say for a lot of other movies that spill from the maw of the Hollywood machine.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound, THX-Supervised Mastering]
Sales rank:

Special Features

"Sand & Celluloid" making-of featurette: A behind-the-scenes look at the special effects and the adventure of making Hidalgo; "America's First Horse" enhanced computer feature: Venture beyond the movie to the incredible story of Hidalgo's ancestors, the Spanish Mustangs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Viggo Mortensen Frank T. Hopkins
Omar Sharif Sheikh Riyadh
Louise Lombard Lady Anne Davenport
Saïd Taghmaoui Prince Bin al Reeh
Peter Mensah Jaffa
Malcolm McDowell Actor
J.K. Simmons Buffalo Bill Cody
Zuleikha Robinson Jazira
Adam Alexi-Malle Aziz
Silas Carson Katib
Adoni Maropis Sakr
Harsh Nayyar Yusef
Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman Chief Eagle Horn
Elizabeth Berridge Annie Oakley
Victor Talmadge Rau Rasmussen
Frank Collison Texas Jack
Jerry Hardin Nate Salisbury
C. Thomas Howell Preston Webb
David Midthunder Black Coyote
Sven Ole Thorsen Actor

Technical Credits
Joe Johnston Director
Nate Bruckner Associate Producer
Patricia Carr Co-producer
Kevin Constant Art Director
Robert Dalva Editor
Mary H. Ellis Sound/Sound Designer
William M. Elvin Asst. Director
Nancy Foy Casting
John Fusco Screenwriter
Julie Hanks Associate Producer
Gregory Scott Hooper Set Decoration/Design
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Industrial Light & Magic Animator
Shelly Johnson Cinematographer
Jeffrey Kurland Costumes/Costume Designer
Josh Lusby Set Decoration/Design
Luigi Quintili Art Director
Barry Robison Production Designer
Chris Salvaterra Associate Producer
Casey Silver Producer
Don Zepfel Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening/Teaching Respect [3:59]
2. Wounded Knee Creek [4:07]
3. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show [4:59]
4. An Invitation Accepted [10:49]
5. Arrival in a Strange World [7:06]
6. The Sheikh of Sheikhs [8:24]
7. The Journey Begins [2:43]
8. Sandstorm [1:00]
9. Jazira's Visit [7:42]
10. Raid and Abduction [3:42]
11. Rescue [4:03]
12. A Daughter Returned [8:03]
13. The Race Continues [5:35]
14. Treachery [8:14]
15. Prayer to the Ancestors [3:13]
16. To the Sea [6:44]
17. Friends [4:23]
18. Paid in Full/End Credits [6:25]

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