Hidalgo (2004)

Action, Adventure, Western
Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson, Louise Lombard
In 1890, a down-and-out cowboy and his horse travel to Arabia to compete in a deadly cross desert horse race.
The scenery looks great, but this overstuffed horse story contains too much cheese.
  • Buena Vista Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 05 Mar 2004 Released:
  • 03 Aug 2004 DVD Release:
  • $67.2M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Feel good movie - start to finish ~!10/10

Hidalgo is one of those movies that comes along once in a blue moon. This is a movie NOT to be missed.

Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of a gentle, laid-back cowboy hearkens back to the golden age of cinema and would make the likes of Gary Cooper proud! His subtle blend of virtue such as honor, honest and pride - without being the least bit preachy, make watching his performance an utter joy.

All of the actors are brilliant in their roles, especially the one in the title role! Hidalgo is clever and entertaining without being unbelievable as many animal movies are these days. You won't find him standing on his hind legs and doing the hokey-pokey, but his talents are very evident and he becomes a hero that we all love before the end of the movie.

One of the best parts of this movie is the fact that it is a movie by grownups for grownups, although it carries enough action and suspense that kids will probably like it to. Absent, however is the sickeningly sweet "kids scenes" that we simply cannot get away from in movies today. No charming close ups of dimple-faced waifs. No little wise-mouthed child prodigies - nothing but good old fashioned grown-up fun! How refreshing.

You will be happy to know that the ending isn't as predictable as it could have been. Although falling into the "happy" category (of course), there are poignant moments and you might shed a tear.

One other aspect of this film which I found intriguing is the issue of examining and accepting who we are. It was very well done and meaningful.


Overall this film is easily a 10+. Please see it
Enjoy the Ride!9/10
An excellent, epic tale. This is not a fast-paced film; rather, think of it as story unfolding before your eyes, so sit back and enjoy the ride. There's plenty of adventure along the way, and I shed a few tears as well. It is a moving narrative.

Viggo Mortensen plays the lead character, Frank T. Hopkins, with aplomb, humor, humility, and spunk. Hidalgo, his painted mustang, plays his part well, also! Hopkins is a cowboy/Pony Express rider with a heritage that he holds to himself and is revealed in time. Especially heart-wrenching is the Battle of Wounded Knee. More massacre than battle, it had a profound and personal impact on Hopkins' life.

In the legendary 3,000-mile Ocean of Fire race across the sands of the Arabian desert, Hopkins and his horse must face treachery and the cruel desert elements in an endurance race that pushes man and beast to their limits. If you like horses, adventure, and epic films, this is a movie for you.

Expect moments of triumph and humor that make you laugh and cheer, as well as moments of tragedy. It is a story beautifully told and carefully crafted, though not without mistakes.

A few scenes could have been edited to preserve the epic feel while maintaining the film's pace. At certain points it was natural for the film to slow down, but it should not have been allowed to slow down to the point of stalling. However, in defense of the filmmakers, they were successful in capturing the tedium, beauty and peril of crossing a desert in a 3,000-mile race, and it gave viewers a real feeling for what it might be like to make such a journey.

The relationship Frank T. Hopkins has with his horse in this movie is especially touching, and is perhaps the highlight of the film.

Supporting roles by the rest of the cast were outstanding. Omar Sharif was amazing as always. Even the smallest actors shone in their parts.

Mr. Mortensen's diverse talents, including his aptitude for learning languages (Lakota/Sioux in this case), his own horseback riding skills, and his versatility as an actor made him a perfect fit for this part. Mr. Mortensen's book, Miyelo, which sprang from this movie, is a fine choice for anyone who wants to see a sampling of Mr. Mortensen's outstanding photography.

Frank T. Hopkins remained a staunch advocate of the wild Mustang horse until his death. Keep in mind that the real Frank T. Hopkins was known for his weaving of tall tales; thus, the "legendary" Ocean of Fire race.

A highly recommended movie.
Old Style Entertainment...8/10

In the age of Matrix, I Robot, A.I., Minority Report, etcetera. ain't easy to find adventure-movies made in the old style: the good guy, the very bad guy, the girl, and a happy ending ... Well, this is what Hidalgo offers us.

Viggo Mortensen's character is a cowboy specializing in long distance horse races, he and his horse (Hidalgo, a Mustang) are just unbeatable. So some arabian skeikh (Omar Sharif) sends for him to take part in the biggest horse race in the world (4.800km long, through the Arabian desert) to prove that Mortensen's non-thoroughbred horse is not as good and resistant as arabian horses. That's the starting point. And from that moment on we will witness a marvelous adventure through the desert in which the starring will have to face all kind of difficulties and traps. As I've said: and old style adventure movie. No absurd and meaningless special effects, no absurd and unbelievable plots, and no pretensions but to make the audience have a good time. And no doubt Joe Johnston achieves that: the movie is 136 minutes long but you don't feel tired nor boring in any moment. The rhythm is just great and well measured. The photography and the landscapes are just astonishing; and the work of Mortensen is so remarkable. He seems to be the perfect heir to those actors specializing in adventure movies just like Harrison Ford, though Mortensen's characters (Hidalgo, LOTR) usually are a little more darker than Ford's.

My rate: 8/10
Enjoy this one!5/10

I've read some pretty disparaging comments about this movie that make me wonder what on earth was so bad? Let's see, there were objections over the predictability of the plot, the stereotyping, the music and on and on. People need to relax and enjoy this movie as entertainment only. I personally thought it was one of the nicest new releases I'd seen.

I know this was another movie about the underdog winning against all odds but I like this kind of movie. I thought the screenplay was admirable in it's restraint not having the main character even kiss the two women involved. The music was very moving and beautiful.

Perhaps some people have become so jaded that a movie simply isn't complete unless there's a helicopter chase, an exploding car or two (or in this case, a wagon), a trip to the nearby strip club with the flashing lights(where all characters in search of answers seem to end up at), gratuitous sex scenes, oh yeah, don't forget to use the 'F' word and while we're at it: let take God's name in vain a few times for the sake of 'realism'.

Hollywood needs to make more movies like this.
This is a film that I could watch almost any time.10/10
OK: so what makes a film a "10"? For me, every scene has to work. Would I take out any scenes? If so, then the flick isn't a 10. Also, does each scene move the story forward? If this is seamlessly done, then all the better. "Hidalgo" not only does this; but it does so easily, and unobtrusivesly, with the sense that the lead actor (Vigo Mortensen) is the vehicle for an ongoing, and interesting, story ... and what a story it is! Just as with the film Apollo 13, the fact that the story is based on real history and fact makes the story-telling more than a good tale. It tells us something worth remembering.

Did I mention that this is a rippingly good story? Did I mention that all of the actors are compellingly good ... including the horse (Hidalgo)? Did I mention that this movie transcends facile categorization (Western, Adventure, Drama, etc.?) This is just a damned good, under-appreciated movie.

The bonus material on the DVD is worthy of inclusion in a course on Western Civilization (a course that I've taught several times)? See this for yourself. I doubt that you'll be disappointed. In fact, I think that you'll recognize this as equal to such under-appreciated films such as "King of Hearts" and "Kasper Hauser" ... films that you'll be proud to own and to show to your friends.