War Horse

War Horse

4.6 8
Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson

     
 

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Director Steven Spielberg's epic World War I drama details the remarkable bond between a man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his loyal horse, Joey. Adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse follows the growing friendship between man and beast as Albert trains Joey, and then follows Joey on an incredible journeySee more details below

Overview

Director Steven Spielberg's epic World War I drama details the remarkable bond between a man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his loyal horse, Joey. Adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse follows the growing friendship between man and beast as Albert trains Joey, and then follows Joey on an incredible journey across the English countryside after the pair are forcibly separated. Along the way, Joey touches the lives of everyone he comes into contact with, including British and German soldiers, as well as a kindly French farmer and his impressionable granddaughter. Later, in no man's land, Joey's extraordinary saga winds to a poignant and deeply affecting climax.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
For an established director who has delivered some of the biggest hits in Hollywood history, you have to admire Steven Spielberg's versatility: The very same year he releases The Adventures of Tintin -- an epic animated adventure that pushes the boundaries of current technology -- he also turns out War Horse -- a visually sumptuous homage to legendary filmmaker John Ford and an affecting World War I drama that examines the human condition though the experiences of a valiant horse that touches countless lives. Adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo (which was also made into a Tony-winning play), War Horse details the unbreakable bond that forms between a horse named Joey and his young owner and trainer Albert (Jeremy Irvine), the headstrong son of a hard-luck farmer (Peter Mullan). Along the way, Joey touches the lives of everyone he comes into contact with, including British and German soldiers, as well as a kindly French farmer and his ailing granddaughter. Later, in no-man's-land, Joey's extraordinary saga comes to a poignant and deeply touching climax. Subtlety has never been Steven Spielberg's strong suit, but despite shameless, repeated attempts to get a rein on our heartstrings, there's a genuine sense of beauty to War Horse -- both aesthetically and thematically -- that makes it a difficult film to be overly cynical about. In adapting Morpurgo's novel to the screen, writers Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and Richard Curtis (Bridget Jones's Diary, Black Adder) take great pains to offer a thorough setup before the film hits its stride with a series of masterful vignettes that manage to be at once emotionally intimate yet sweeping in scale. In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, such ambitious material could have easily come off as clumsy, pretentious, or cloying. But Spielberg's acute understanding of the language of film affords him the unique luxury of portraying archetypal characters so that they come across as genuinely human, and he never makes the mistake of portraying Joey's experiences in an anthropomorphic manner. We tend to project onto animals -- both in movies and in real life -- but by avoiding overtly cutesy cutaway shots of Joey during the setup or heartrending close-ups when things begin to look dire later on, Spielberg allows the horse's experiences to accumulate in a manner that doesn't feel manipulative. But the director's efforts to maintain a sense of emotional honesty are continually undercut by Hall and Curtis, who display a distracting tendency to offset any tragedy with urgent levity. As a result, scenes that should resonate, such as a sudden execution, are often rendered slightly less powerful than they may have been otherwise without the unnecessary diversion. Although his wide-eyed mugging teeters on the brink of parody early on, young newcomer Irvine gradually finds his footing as the plot opens up and his character starts to mature, while earnest performances by Mullan and Emily Watson as his parents (not to mention a moustache-twirling turn by David Thewlis as their evil landlord) help to keep the extended setup sequence from growing stagnant. Meanwhile, out on the battlefield, David Kross carries considerable dramatic weight as a young German soldier determined to keep his younger sibling from harm, and Niels Arestrup is unforgettable as a kindly grandfather attempting to shelter his beloved granddaughter from the horrors of war. Sadly, talented Brits Toby Kebbell and Eddie Marsan (in a rare role in which he isn't positively despicable) are essentially lost in the shuffle. But while the human actors in War Horse are genuinely impressive, it's the equine that truly carries the weight of the story, and Spielberg does a phenomenal job at making Joey a believable character that convincingly grows and evolves during his incredible adventure. His unbreakable spirit is the main reason we remain saddled to our seats throughout the film, and it serves as a reminder of how our lives are always interconnected, even in the darkest of times.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/03/2012
UPC:
0786936812817
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:26:00
Sales rank:
2,157

Special Features

War Horse: The Look

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeremy Irvine Albert Narracott
Peter Mullan Ted Narracott
Emily Watson Rosie Narracott
Niels Arestrup Grandfather
David Thewlis Lyons
Tom Hiddleston Captain Nicholls
Benedict Cumberbatch Major Jamie Stewart
Celine Buckens Emilie
Toby Kebbell Geordie Soldier
Patrick Kennedy Lt. Charlie Waverly
David Kross Gunther
Matt Milne Andrew Easton
Robert Emms David Lyons
Eddie Marsan Sgt. Fry
Nicolas Bro Friedrich
Rainer Bock Brandt
Hinnerk Schönemann German Soldier in No Man's Land
Gary Lydon Si Easton
Geoff Bell Sgt. Sam Perkins
Liam Cunningham Army Doctor
Sebastian Hülk German Officer at Farm
Gerard McSorley Market Auctioneer
Tony Pitts Sgt. Martin
Ifran Hussain Sgt. Maj. Singh
Philippe Nahon French Auctioneer
Jean-Claude Lecas Butcher
Justin Brett Motorbike Rider
Seamus O'Neill Devon Farmer #1
Pat Laffan Devon Farmer #2
Michael Ryan British Trench Soldier #1
Peter McNeil O'Connor British Trench Soldier #2
Gunnar Atli Cauthery German Trench Soldier #1
Julian Wadham Trench Captain
Anian Zollner Senior German Officer
Michael Kranz Junior German Officer
Hannes Wegener German Officer
David Dencik Base Camp Officer
Edward Bennett Cavalry Recuiting Officer
Johnny Harris Infantry Recruiting Officer
Philip Hill-Pearson Wounded Soldier
Tam Dean Burn Medic in Trench
Alan Williams Hospital Orderly
Thomas Arnold Shouting German Soldier
Maximiilian Brueckner German Artillery Officer
Markus Tomczyk German Artillery Soldier
Peter Benedict German Officer on Bridge
Callum Armstrong Bagpiper
Roy Holder Fred Goddard
Paul Alexander Dave Hill
Maggie Ollerenshaw Narracott's Neighbour
Beth Ogden David Lyons's Girlfriend
Martin D. Dew Lyons' Cronie

Technical Credits
Steven Spielberg Director,Producer
Neil Corbould Special Effects Supervisor
Patrick Crane Associate Producer
Richard Curtis Screenwriter
Audrey Doyle Makeup
Revel Guest Executive Producer
Lee Hall Screenwriter
Jennifer Hegarty Makeup
Molly Hughes Art Director
Jina Jay Casting
Joanna Johnston Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Kahn Editor
Janusz Kaminski Cinematographer
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Nicholas Laws Production Manager
Kristie Marcosko-Krieger Associate Producer
Frank Marshall Executive Producer
John Marzano Camera Operator
Gary Rydstrom Sound/Sound Designer
Adam Somner Asst. Director,Co-producer
Harriet Storey Art Director
Gary Tomkins Art Director
John Williams [composer] Score Composer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- War Horse
1. Joey is Born [4:30]
2. "He's Something Else..." [5:00]
3. Albert and Joey [4:25]
4. Whistle [3:48]
5. The Importance of the Flow [4:43]
6. "Our Big Day" [6:47]
7. Work in the Rain [4:59]
8. The Pennant [3:32]
9. Flood [3:40]
10. War [5:48]
11. Topthorn [4:29]
12. Preparing For the Charge [4:14]
13. Be Brave [5:15]
14. Teaching Topthorn [2:44]
15. Sketches and News [1:46]
16. A Promise [8:13]
17. The Windmill/Emilie [3:56]
18. Hiding [5:12]
19. The Germans Return [2:20]
20. The Cannon Pull [4:13]
21. No Man's Land [5:41]
22. Escape [9:53]
23. Freed [5:43]
24. A Miraculous Kind of Horse [8:59]
25. A Return to Auction [7:31]
26. Homecoming [7:33]
27. Credits [2:58]

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