FBMR - Hidalgo
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

HIDALGO (2004) ***

If SEABISCUIT is a movie about horseracing, then HIDALGO is its extreme sport counterpart. Same as running, there are many different distances, from the short-distance sprints, to middle distance 10Ks, to marathons … there are even some races called ultra-marathons that could be equivalent to running two marathons back-to-back, some that even go as far as total 100K.

This movie looks at long distance horseracing, cross-country horseracing. At the turn of the century, Frank Hopkins and his mustang, Hidalgo, were the winningest cross-country team in the U.S. When a Sheikh’s assistant learns that Hidalgo, a mixed breed, is being called the fastest horse in the world, he challenges Hopkins and his horse to take part in one of the longest and most gruelling long distance horse races in the world. This race through the Arabian Desert, dubbed the Ocean Of Fire, has Hopkins and Hidalgo competing against some of the finest and fastest pure-bred Arabian horses and Bedouin riders. Hopkins and Hidalgo will face such obstacles as extreme heat, low supplies, quicksand, sandstorms, tribal conflicts, sabotage, and prejudice, not to mention a search for identity and inner conflicts before the race is done.

This movie was fun, but nothing spectacular, and had an unexpected sense of humour. Some of the funnier moments involved the horse seemingly understanding what is going on around him, or what is being said, and giving Hopkins or the camera a look to that effect. It was also interesting to hear that the orchestration had a very similar feel and sound to the sweeping soundtrack of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. That made me grin.