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War Horse

(35 Posts)
Oldgreymare Thu 12-Jan-12 18:37:43

I saw the 'trailer' for this film at the pictures/cinema (delete as you wish) yesterday. It made me reach for a tissue! What chance do I stand watching the whole film? sad

Anne58 Thu 12-Jan-12 18:41:20

Apparently it does have a happy ending, although I think I would probably cry during it!

Pennysue Thu 12-Jan-12 19:14:24

I read the book it is based on and it was heart breaking and made me cry.

My Grandfather served with the Royal Horse Artillery during WW1, not that he ever talked to us about it, but he did get out some photographs when my DS was about 7 and wanted to go into the army. Horses in the mud etc. (No really terrible pictures but enough to make you think).

Funny seeing you Grandad as a handsome young man in a uniform and he was only 16 when he went to France. By the time his mother "found" him he was nearly old enough to be there so stayed.

Son still became a donkey walloper.

crimson Thu 12-Jan-12 19:42:36

There is another book called 'Warrior' which is a true story of a horse that survived the First World war [he took part in the last ever cavalry charge] and was taken home by his owner, where he lived to the grand old age of 33 [I don't really want to say why it was 33, though...]. If anyone remembers the BBC landmark series 'The Great War', perhaps, like me, it was the sight of all the dead horses that was the most moving. By the way, one of the horses playing 'Joey' was in Seabiscuit; if anyone thinks it's just a film about horse racing it is far more than is a horse from the wrong side of the tracks becoming a superstar in America during the depression, and lifting peoples' spirits. I shall cry all the way through War Horse, but it doesn't matter because everyone around me will be crying too!

Henrietta Thu 12-Jan-12 20:14:10

I have a friend who owns a horse and loves animals and she refuses point blank to go to this film. She says it would be far too upsetting for her to watch what happens to the horses during the film even though she is perfectly aware that it is a story and will probably have a happy ending.

gracesmum Thu 12-Jan-12 20:15:17

I saw the stage production a couple of years ago and the puppets were what made it. Michael Morpurgo's story, while charming and moving, is slight, but the puppet horses were simply incredible. I am afraid that Spielberg will have made an excellent film but a very different film.


As the lights came up at the National, there was a lot of harumphing and nose blowing by grown men,while women and children (and DH who is a sensitive soul) just let the tears flow!!

Seventimesfive Thu 12-Jan-12 20:51:25

gracesmum I saw the stage production last year and was spellbound by the horses too. While the story was moving I was captivated by trying to work out how the horses worked! I saw another production by the same puppet company at the Cottesloe at the National last year. Can't remember what it was called but it was about two gay men and their story over about 30 years. Also very moving, in some ways more so, and all done with puppets! Am a bit reluctant to see the film. Will probably wait until it comes out with Lovefilm.

gracesmum Thu 12-Jan-12 21:10:10

And the chicken!! Wasn't the chicken hilarious? I absolutely agree that the horses and the FOALS (aaaah) looked so real, capturing the ESSENCE of horse!

Ariadne Fri 13-Jan-12 16:07:09

I don't think I can go to see it; the book made me cry enough. What a wimp!

GoldenGran Fri 13-Jan-12 16:46:58

Loved the play, and going next week to see the film with a friend whose husband won't come because he will cry. I think a lot of people feel the same, Ariadne, I will take tissues.

Sook Fri 13-Jan-12 17:16:33

My husband bought me Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo for a Christmas present a few years ago, it's about a greyhound, a breed and cause to which I am absolutely devoted to. Sadly it lies in my bedside drawer unread because I know it will make me unbearably sad. There is absolutely no chance that I would be able to read War Horse or sit through the film.

I read Black Beauty once as a child and I got part way through Bambi before I rushed out of the room blubbering because Bambis' mother got shot.

I am a total wimp.

gracesmum Fri 13-Jan-12 18:24:48

Sook - I was given the DVD of Born To Run by sister in law who thought I would like it as I am mad about greyhounds and we have our 3rd retired racing greyhound.
Don't want to spoil it for anybody - but DON'T WATCH IT if you are a greyhound - (or even a dog-) lover.

Sook Fri 13-Jan-12 19:01:26

gracesmum.......I have 3 hounds all seniors. One is a retired racer, one is registered to race but wouldn't and number 3 is a greyhound/saluki x. Nobody wanted him because he was so lively. Don't they make wonderful pets?

I think I will have to donate my book to a greyhound charity sooner or later I hadn't realised there was also a video. I couldn't bear to watch it.

Lovely to meet someone else who is mad about greyhounds.

gracesmum Fri 13-Jan-12 19:04:21

Other dog-people often don't appreciate greyhounds, they think they are too thin or that they need lots of exercise. When asked if she "keeps me fit" I just smile bravely. (See my photos for a pic of her!)

Carol Fri 13-Jan-12 19:25:40

Here is one dog lover who appreciates greyhounds. I have a basset hound now, but have always adored greyhounds - beautiful creatures!

greenmossgiel Sat 14-Jan-12 19:40:45

We're going to see Warhorse on Tuesday. I hope I'll be 'alright' confused.

yogagran Sat 14-Jan-12 21:26:29

War horse isn't all sadness and those of you who say you can't see it because you'll cry are missing an amazing experience. I was "blown away" by the stage version. The body language of the puppets is so realistic. Quite brilliant. I'm going to be in Toronto in February & my son has booked tickets for us to see it again there. Not sure that I'll get to see the film though as I often prefer to see just one version & keep those memories intact

Sook Sat 14-Jan-12 22:23:16

yogagran I saw one of the puppets on television and was mesmerised so perhaps the stage version might be the better option for me.

Carol yes greyhounds are beautiful creatures, they have a very special place in my heart. As gracesmum has mentioned people are often mistaken in thinking that they need lots of exercise ha ha ha they are the couch potatoes of the canine world. One of my neighbours mentioned that Basset Hounds were used to hunt hares? Is that a fact?

gracesmum I have added a couple of photo's to my profile.

crimson Sun 15-Jan-12 10:22:13

If it was all sadness it wouldn't be the worlwide hit that it's fast becoming. Yes, there are sad moments [it's about a war that killed countless lives] but it's uplifting and full of hope for mankind. The First World War is fast fading out of people's conciousness, a book/play such as this keeps it fresh in our minds [Morpugos' books are studied in school]. It make us remember and face the horrors of war, but with a message that mankind is intringically good and decent, and that is what will ultimately prevail. To think that, when we went to see it, we were worried that the play was not going to continue [it had moved theatre once]. I understand that Japan are building a theatre specifically to show it [somehow the puppet horses seem Japanese in a way I can't explain; perhaps I've seen pictures of Japanese war horses in the past?], and it's going to Australia also. Sometimes, as an 'animal' we need to see ourselves as other creatures perceive us? It's not gloom and doom, but the most uplifting thing I have ever seen.

NewGranLin Sun 15-Jan-12 11:44:52

I'm going to see the stage production soon and have the tissues ready.

carboncareful Sun 15-Jan-12 15:03:05

I'm a bit worried about how the (real life) horses are treated on set. I know they are trained to do things like drop dead and such like but I can't believe there is no cruelty involved. Or danger.
I know in the old days (cowboy films) they were deliberately tripped up on hidden wire and many of them ended up having to be shot.

JessM Sun 15-Jan-12 15:19:34

Hi there
I think the regs are very strict.
And to train an animal to do complicated things it works better if you reward them. As BF Skinner demonstrated.

Annobel Sun 15-Jan-12 15:48:39

Skinner - wasn't he the one that trained pigeons to turn summersaults? That's about all I can remember about my DipEd Psychology - oh, and Pavlov's dogs

crimson Sun 15-Jan-12 16:05:26

The horse trainer is Bobby Lovgren. He uses his own horse, Finder , as one of the 'Joeys' [he was also in Seabiscuit]. He says 'if I am there, my horse has confidence..we have never betrayed that confidence'. I very much doubt that Spielberg would have allowed any horse to be harmed during filming. When Joey gallops across no mans land, there is actually someone riding him. It goes on to say 'it seems Bobby can ask a horse to do almost anything..but working on the film could not have ben safer'. This is from the article in last weeks Observer.

crossstitchgill Sun 15-Jan-12 23:45:37

I am planning on seeing the film tomorrow afternoon and I had trouble watching the trailer too. My husband and I went to see the stage show at the National and found ourselves joining in the songs which we knew as we are fans of John Tams who created the music for the show. The film music was written by John Williams who has composed many film scores but I think there has been a bit of collaboration with John Tams.