Script: John Fusco
Cast: Louise Lombard, Omar Sharif, Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson
Setting: 1890s, Arabian desert, C19th
Rated : 5 Stars
Frank Hopkins sets out to the Middle East to compete in a long distance race, 3,000 miles across the desert. Racing against the finest Arabian horses on his mustang Hidalgo, in an effort to escape his past.
And that is the basic premise of the film. As a film it is far from anything special. As a matter of fact, despite the ads saying how much of a blockbuster it is the special effects often look a bit silly (those leopards), and although it supposed to be about a race, most of the plot revolves around a hokey romance between the sheik’s daughter and Hopkins.
There is also the evil english person, although in this case its a woman. Who seems to have been very very loosely based on a real woman who researched the Arab horse in the 1880’s .
But all in all its enjoyable enough, nothing special but I did enjoy the scene in the tent between Sharif & Mortensen after Hopkins has been accused of dishoouring the daughter. Everything else is very predictable.
Course if it hadn’t been marketed as a “true story” I wouldn’t have minded the far-fetched nature of this story. I know they prolly wanted a Seabiscuit on sand, but the differences are immense. Seabiscuit over came set-backs and injuries, Hidalgo does the impossible. And that is because the entire story is a fabrication. Frank Hopkins seems to have made his entire life story up, not to mention inventing his horse. In an article in the LA Times the writer of the film, Fusco says that Hopkins “lives as legend, as folklore in that world, and still inspires, no matter what the truth is,” well it that is true then why the big deal about it being a true story. The PR should have been changed.
Aside from whether or not the story was based on truth and embellished, a lot of what goes on is just plain ridiculous. And as a film there is nothing that stands out about it. Still the horses are pretty :)
Tosh, but enjoyable enough