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Friday Flicks: ‘The Silver Brumby’

Russell Crowe and horses–whaaa??? Amanda Ronan declares this film, featuring “beautiful horses being chased by beautiful men over beautiful terrain,” worth a watch.

From Amanda:

The Silver Brumby (a.k.a. The Silver Stallion for American viewers) was filmed in 1993 starring Caroline Goodall and Russell Crowe.

Wait a minute, did I just say Russell Crowe?  Totally hot, Australian-accented, blockbuster, “I am a Gladiator” Russell Crowe?

Oh, this should be good!  Carrying on…

The movie is an adaptation of the book series written by Elyne Mitchell.

The movie starts out with a mother and daughter riding out a horrific thunderstorm in their Australian home.  I’m sure that this was meant by the filmmakers to be a loving, maternal moment but whether it was the thunderstorm in the background, the sinister soundtrack, or the way the mother hovered over the scared daughter’s face, it just kind of creeped me out!

The mother begins whispering the story of Thowra, the creamy-silver colt born during the greatest spring thunderstorm.

Thowra’s dam, Bel Bel, guides him through the Australian Highland country and teaches him all that she knows.  Eventually she must teach Thowra the harshest lesson of all.  He must learn about man.

The Man happens to be a very fetching Russell Crowe in a fedora, on a horse, with a dog by his side….not a bad Man to start out with if you ask me.

In a moment that would define both their lives for years to come, The Man and Thowra meet at a small creek.  The Man tries to capture Thowra, but this time Bel Bel fights him off…just barely.  So Bel Bel ups her game.  She teaches Thowra how to hide his scent and how to recognize the scent of man.

There are other dangers besides Man, however.  Thowra and Bel Bel happen across a stallion from a competing herd.  This stallion is a GORGEOUS grey, but Bel Bel is not at all interested.  She guides Thowra back to the protected territory of their herd where Thowra’s sire, Yarraman, is ready for a throwdown.

Meanwhile, in real life, the mother (our narrator) and daughter rescue an adorable kangaroo and the daughter witnesses a brutal horse breaking at a neighboring ranch.  The daughter runs home distraught about the cruelty of it all and they go in for tea…leaving her pony completely saddled and bridled in the driveway…

Back to the story, where Thowra is all grown up and The Man is still vainly trying to capture him.  The Grey Stallion also returns, defeating Thowra’s sire and killing him.

After his sire’s death, Thowra is forced to leave his dam and slowly forms his own herd.

The Man, having unsuccessfully chased Thowra for the last three years, can’t help himself from buying a lovely Palomino filly he finds at auction.  He trains her gently before heading back to his summer cabin in Thowra’s territory.

The filly, named Goldie, “haunts” Thowra with her beauty and grace, according to the narrator.  Thowra begins creeping around The Man’s cabin most days and nights.  By the light of a full moon, Thowra makes his move.  He jumps in the paddock, flirts with Goldie, and somehow convinces her to jump a 4 ft. fence and join his herd.

The Man shouts out a dramatic, slow-motion “Nooooo!”

Will The Man vow revenge to his last breath?  Will Goldie, a tame horse her whole life, survive in the wild with Thowra?  Will Thowra ever be caught?  And what about the murderous Grey Stallion…will Thowra avenge his sire’s death?  You’ll just have to watch and see!

I really enjoyed this movie…until right around twenty-five minutes from the end.  Somewhere around there, Russell Crowe started cackling like a vengeful banshee and Thowra gained mystical powers that he could use to summon wind, thunder, and lightning.  The movie was always skewed towards the PETA “all horses should be free to frolic on rainbows” perspective but it became a tad ridiculous towards the end.

There were also two things I didn’t understand:

1. Why is Thowra called “The Silver Brumby” when he is clearly a palomino?

2. Why was The Man so obsessed with Thowra, when the Grey Stallion was ten times more gorgeous?

I mean look at that animal!!  Woo!

All in all though, I thought The Silver Brumby was an entertaining watch.  It was an almost perfect blend of The Man From Snowy River and Black Beauty.  It’s hard not to enjoy beautiful horses being chased by beautiful men over beautiful terrain.  I give it 3 out of 4 Golden Horseshoes.

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