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Friday Flicks: ‘Danny’ (1979)

Emphasis on 1979. This week’s flick features high-waisted pants, helmet-less heads, questionable acting and a plot that’s delightfully cliché. HN film critic Amanda Ronan reviews.

From Amanda:

“I said KEEP YOUR HEELS DOWN!”  “I said RELAX!”  These are things that we are all used to hearing in the ring and that is exactly how the movie, Danny (1979), begins.  We are introduced to Andrea Cummings who is struggling to ride her brand new pony, Danny.

Danny isn’t quite what Andrea expected.  After storming away to her father, it is decided that Janie, the young stable girl, will help Andrea train Danny.

Everything progresses nicely, and Andrea and Danny head out for their first competition.  The day doesn’t go well at all.  Andrea gets dumped on the ground and Mr. Cummings decides the pony is a lemon.  Things really go sour when Danny comes up lame.

Mr. Cummings decides to sell the pony.  Janie is heartbroken.  Luckily, a mysterious benefactor purchases Danny for Janie.  Cue the musical montage of healing, hydro and handwalking!

Danny is miraculously healed!  After fierce negotiations with her mother, Janie is allowed to enter Danny in the big County Show where she will compete against Andrea and her “faaaab-ulous” new pony, Midnight Star.  Andrea throws down the gauntlet, saying Janie and Danny don’t have a chance in the Children’s Hunter division.  Mr. Cummings further ups the ante by luring Mr. Devito, Janie’s mother’s boyfriend, in to a $500 bet over the Children’s Hunter.

Will Danny and Janie take home first prize?  Will the mysterious benefactor be revealed?  You’ll just have to watch and see!

Welcome to the 1970s!  The pants are high-waisted, the heads are un-helmeted and the musical montages are slooo…. (snore) …ooow.  Sorry.  I dozed off a bit there.

There were some very odd moments in this movie.  Like, for instance, when Andrea teaches us how to line dance at her dad’s birthday BBQ, or when Janie is nearly assaulted by a drunken farrier in the woods.  She is saved by the farrier’s wife screaming, “You can beat your own kids, but not other people’s!”  But my top awkward scene has to go to the random goat at the Hunter Show.  Wha???

Seriously, though, this movie wasn’t half bad.  Much like International Velvet, the production team clearly favored children with riding skills versus acting skills, so the dialogue is a bit rough but the riding is enjoyable to watch.  And who doesn’t love the idea of a hardworking stable girl sticking it to the rich folk?!?

I give Danny 2.5 Golden Horseshoes.

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