6.3/10
6,679
35 user 27 critic

The Electric Horseman (1979)

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5:10 | Clip
A rodeo star past his prime steals his company's horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Robert Garland (screenplay), Paul Gaer (screen story) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Sonny
Jane Fonda ... Hallie
Valerie Perrine ... Charlotta
Willie Nelson ... Wendell
John Saxon ... Hunt Sears
Nicolas Coster ... Fitzgerald
Allan Arbus ... Danny
Wilford Brimley ... Farmer
Will Hare ... Gus
Basil Hoffman ... Toland
Timothy Scott ... Leroy
James Sikking ... Dietrich (as James B. Sikking)
James Kline James Kline ... Tommy
Frank Speiser Frank Speiser ... Bernie
Quinn K. Redeker ... Bud Broderick (as Quinn Redeker)
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Storyline

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are going drug the horse in case its too frisky, he rides off into the desert... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1980 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Der elektrische Reiter See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$61,801,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wildwood Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1979 picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound but lost out to Apocalypse Now (1979). See more »

Goofs

The white splotch on Rising Star's face reverses itself in subsequent shots when Sonny releases him near the end of the movie. The splotch moves from Rising Star's right eye to left eye and then back again. See more »

Quotes

Man: Hey! Hey, Hallie, Hallie Martin! We met in New York, remember?
Hallie Martin: Did we like each other?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film's original soundtrack has been changed in different ways for its two DVD releases:
  • The Image DVD replaces Dave Grusin's beautiful "Freedom Epilogue" score music (where the horse is set free) with a reprise of "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" by Willie Nelson, originally heard during the opening credits. This actually works well, though one wonders why a piece of original score had to be changed.
  • The newer Universal release goes a step further, removing "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" from the opening credits (and in fact from the film completely) as well as "Freedom Epilogue" and replaces them both with a very inappropriate generic harmonica-driven instrumental which is meant to sound like a Willie Nelson song.
See more »


Soundtracks

Hands on the Wheel
(uncredited)
Composed by Bill Callery
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining romance of a runaway cowboy
28 March 2006 | by roghacheSee all my reviews

Being a great fan of the film's stars, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, especially back when I first saw it, I found this an entertaining, if not memorable romance, western style.

The story revolves around a former rodeo star named Sonny Steele (Redford) who has been reduced to doing cereal commercials in Las Vegas, all the while lit up in a sort of electrified suit. When he discovers plans are afoot to drug his horse lest it become too adventurous, he rides off into the desert, followed closely by a reporter named Hallie Martin (Fonda). At first, Hallie is simply seeking an exclusive story, but as you can imagine, before too long, the sparks are flying. Meanwhile, other forces are also after the runaway horseman, who just wants to return the horse to nature and himself to a simpler life.

The chemistry here between Redford and Fonda is wonderful, as they share basically an outdoor camping trip. Apart from that, the movie is primarily imparting a message about commercialism in our modern society, especially the evils of using both people and animals for profit. I was interested to read that Robert Redford actually bought for himself the horse, Rising Star, that was used in this film. It isn't any masterpiece, but certainly an entertaining movie that points to the beauties of a simple country life.


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