Man Called Horse [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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Item Type: BLU-RAY DVD Movie
Item Rating: R
Street Date: 05/31/11
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Foreign Film: no
Full Frame: no
Packaging: Sleeve Please note: This supplier will be closed on 11/24, 11/25, 12/26, 1/2 for the holidays. The shipping cut off is 12/10 to try and have the products delivered by Christmas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Richard Harris stars as John Morgan, an English nobleman who has left his homeland for a time and come to America. Out in the Wild West, he's enjoying a hunting trip that is suddenly disrupted by a group of Sioux Indians that attack his camp, kill and scalp his guides and then capture Morgan.
Naked and dragged behind a horse with a rope around him, Morgan is taken back to the Indian's camp and treated like the lowest of low. They view him as little more than a dog going so far as to keep him tied near them.
As time passes, Morgan begins to learn about the Indians and their ways with the help of Batise (Jean Gascon), another captive who has learned how to speak their language but can also speak English and French. Through the translations Batise provides Morgan learns about his position in the tribe as a captive and also how they live their lives, how they differ from the lives led by English nobles.
A day comes when the village the tribe lives in is about to be attacked by two members of another tribe. One of the boys takes out the first and Morgan leaps to attack the second, killing him with his own knife. As the boys scalp the first one, Morgan realizes to become accepted he must follow suit and does so to the second attacker.
Morgan becomes accepted among the tribe and must earn his place among them. Throughout his stay he has caught the eye of Running Deer, the sister of the tribe's leader, Yellow Hand. He makes an offer for her hand in marriage but is rebuffed by Yellow Hand until he can complete the Sun Vow, a torturous physical ordeal the men of the tribe go through to prove their bravery. Morgan does complete the task and is united with Running Deer. It is perhaps the images of this ceremony that most will recall when thinking of this film, a scene where hooks are inserted through Morgan's chest muscles from which he is then hung from the ceiling.
A MAN CALLED HORSE was a different sort of western than had been seen before. As I said earlier, rather than being presented with the actions of this tribe as uncivilized men we are instead offered a look at them through their eyes. The things they did might have seemed savage to us but in their culture it was totally acceptable. This film attempts to make that plain and understandable.
The scenery in the film is gorgeous and one would think that with this being released now on blu-ray that it would be breathtaking. But the fact remains that while blu-ray may offer an amazing new look to most things it can only reprocess what there was to begin with. Without a high quality print or if the film were shot less than perfect, no amount of transfer to the blu-ray format will change what was originally shot.
The acting in this film is well performed by all. Harris does a fine job portraying a man who was more lost before his capture than he was after. Early scenes have him describe his life in England that present him as being out of touch there even though he accepts it. His scenes of life with the Indians later on seem to present him more in touch with himself.
Many never think about the life of the Indian or what they went through. You rarely even hear it spoken of today. And while Hollywood fluctuates between presenting them as either complete animals or noble savages, the fact is that perhaps they were like the rest of us, somewhere in between. This movie does its best to present that.
So glad to finally own this great film.
I found that this particular Blu Ray release of the first movie to be done very well. The movie came out in the 70's and the picture quality on Blu Ray looks great for a movie made over 40 years ago. The landscapes that set the backdrop for this film are just amazing. Props, costumes, and set pieces do a wonderful job in this film's attempt to give the audience a peek into this culture. The movie also states in the beginning that the rituals recreated in the film were carefully studied/researched in order to give them as much authenticity as possible. I don't know if they are completely accurate or not...but it seems that they did make an effort to make them so. It's an amazing story and from what I read elsewhere, it is supposedly based on real events. Richard Harris does an amazing job of playing a character snatched from one world and thrown into another that eventually changes his life forever. The film primarily focuses on his life with this particular group of Native Americans (Sioux). As you can imagine, it certainly isn't very good at first but over time through understanding and appreciation, he learns quite a bit from this culture and something about himself too. The film isn't your typical "western" with cowboys and guns blazing. I can remember being a kid watching "cowboy" movies and I always found myself to be more fascinated with the Native Americans and wanting to know more about them. This is a film that does just that. It gives you more of an insight into their culture and beliefs. Through Richard Harris's character, the audience learns about them as he does. The story is top notch and will keep you glued to the screen as you see his character "evolve" into a new man. The ritual known as "The Sun Vow" is one of the most intense scenes in the movie. I don't want to give spoilers, but I will say that one of the motivators for Harris's character to engage in this ceremony is so that he can marry the chief's sister, played by the very beautiful Corinna Tsopei (Miss Universe 1964). The scenes involving this ceremony are not for the squeamish!
For those of you who have never seen the movie...or it has been a really long time, I don't want to spoil it for you. It is indeed a powerful story with amazing visuals and it may even encourage you to research more into the fascinating cultures of Native Americans. I highly recommend.
The Blu Ray package comes with a single disc and unfortunately no special features. This was disappointing because it would of been nice to have at least some interviews with some of the folks involved with making the film. "Behind the Scenes" footage probably doesn't even exist for this film...so that is understandable. The total running time for the movie is 115 minutes.