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5 Great Horse Films / Books

If you're going to watch a film about horses, some of the best horse themed movies were originally books and later became films. Also, the reverse is also true. Some of the best horse books later became films, which is proof that it is a really good book. So what are some of the best horse films that also happen to be books?

#1. Black Beauty

This book has been made into multiple films (so many adaptations we cannot count them all), and I remember reading the book back in the 1980s. It wasn't a terribly long book. It is only 59,635 words, and it is written at a grade 2 level so even a 7-year-old can read it. However when it comes to the film versions I really like the new Disney version which changes the time period, but keeps various story elements like [SPOILER ALERT] how Beauty eventually becomes a taxi horse near the end of the film after being sold multiple times. The film is real tearjerker and even though there are changes from the book you don't care, because any film that is a good tearjerker will make you love it.

#2. Seabiscuit

This 2003 film is based on a nonfiction book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend", which tells the story of the titular thoroughbred racehorse. It is the type of book you would expect to adorn the shelf next to old copies of Horse Sport Magazine and similar horse related nonfiction books or magazines. The film is another tearjerker. I got all misty eyed just watching the film trailer.

#3. War Horse

War Horse isn't just a 1982 book. It is also an award winning stage production (2007) and a Steven Spielberg film (2011). So immediately you know it is going to be good. In this case the book/film tells the story of a horse bought by the British Army and taken to France during WWI, and his previous owner's attempts to bring the horse back safely to England. Unlike some of the other titles on this list it also got a sequel: "Farm Boy", which wasn't as successful. The film War Horse however is another tearjerker. Definitely a theme within the genre is to make horse aficionados cry.

#4. The Black Stallion

This 1941 children's novel later spawned a film in 1979... and another film "The Black Stallion Returns" in 1983... and an award winning live action Canadian TV show with 3 seasons from 1990 to 1993... and a 50 minute prequel to the TV series shot for IMAX. So basically they just kept making more and more. Not to beat a dead horse, but wow. It must be really good. Let's watch the 1979 movie trailer... and ponder the question: Will they ever make a remake?

#5. The Horse Whisperer

And how could we not include this one? It's another tearjerker! This 1995 book was so successful it became one of the best selling books of all time and the movie rights were purchased during the same year for £3 million by Robert Redford, who later starred, produced and directed the 1998 film - co-starring a young Scarlett Johansson. The film's release later earned $186 million worldwide on a $75 million budget (most of the money went to Redford). The film and its success was a huge cash cow for Redford who plays a cowboy / horse trainer with a particular knack for training horses. The book / film was so influential that the term "Whisperer" now basically means someone who has an uncanny ability to talk to a particular type of animal or person.


If you managed to watch all 5 film trailers above and didn't cry at all you must have a heart of stone. And to the rest of you, go buy a box of tissues before you watch the films / read the books!

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