Phar Lap

1983 [english]

Action / Biography / Drama / Family / History / Sport

Phar Lap

1983 [english]

Action / Biography / Drama / Family / History / Sport

7.3

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7.3

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Synopsis

Phar Lap, the legendary Australian racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford. Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford's faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock. American-promoter Dave Davis arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his "long shot" status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapses and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was "murdered" by the gambling interests. —Hal Erickson.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 15, 2021 at 09:41 PM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by chmozart grade 10 / 10

    TRULY REMARKABLE FILM...WILL MAKE YOU A HORSE LOVER OUT OF YOU!!!

    This is a fantastic movie! The best part about it is that it's based on the true story of a horse named Phar Lap, which means lightning in Chinese. This story tells you about the life of this horse, who was laughed at as a yearling, because of his skinny and scraggly appearance and ugly head and his inability to really "move". He was purchased to be a racehorse, and he was from good bloodlines, but he was bought for a mere pittance compared to what a typically good horse would cost. His trainer Harry Telford was about to give up on him and sell him at the owners request, an American named Dave Davis . Harry's assistant and strapper, Tommy Woodcock, begged for them to give HIM a chance with the horse. He had developed a strong bond with Phar Lap and really was attached to him. Given a chance with the horse, Tommy would show them all, as he took over the training. He worked the horse gently and steadfastly. The horse soon grew into a massive, muscular and handsome horse, worthy of anyone's attention. Phar Lap loved Tommy so much that he would do anything Tommy put forward for him to do. He started training and running at lighting speed and before long and was taken to the tracks to race against the two top horses in Australia.....where he won by a landslide! He raced and won the Melbourne Cup as well as many other famous races. He lived only 3 short years but won 30 races in that period. He ran against the best, and had many fans but many foes as well, since he was the fastest horse around. There were threats placed on his life if he were to continue racing. This is how awesome this horse was. He had intimidated the world of racing with his ability to out race all others, even with the heavy handicaps they tried to bring him down with. He proved to be unbeatable, even with the record breaking weight the Australian Horse Racing Association made him run with. He was so good that he was interfering with the odds at the races as no one could beat him. This did not make the bookmakers happy. He mysteriously died after a Huge race in America called the "Agua Caliente". He became one of the worlds most famous horses of all time. If you love horses, or you even like them a little, then see this movie and it will change your perspective on horses forever! TWO THUMBS UP, AAA+, and 5 STARS!


  • Reviewed by lady_merrinda grade 10 / 10

    Phar Lap is a wonderful story!!

    I have watched Phar Lap several times and it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it! It's a wonderful movie. I'm glad they finally put it on DVD!! I believe that Phar Lap was the worlds greatest race horse. There has never been another like him. It's a shame that he didn't get the chance to sire any babies. They would have been winners like him. I also think Tommy Woodcock was a great trainer! The actors, although unknown to most Americans, were very believable. You couldn't help but to fall in love with the wonderful little horse and I found myself rooting for him every time he raced. The movie will keep you enthralled and sitting on the edge of your seat.


  • Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 grade 9 / 10

    Another Amazing Racehorse

    A good horse racing story - especially if it's based on real life - usually gets my attention and this is no exception. Phar Lap was a famous New Zealand race horse. This was another Seabiscuit-type horse who overcame big odds to achieve greatness. He just never got much press outside of New Zealand, I guess. Rob Leibman, as the generally unlikable guy in the film (who does have a few good moments, to be fair) is the most interesting actor in here. However, the star of the movie, outside of the horse, is Tom Burlinson, the best friend Phar Lap ever had and the only likable male in the film. The story never lagged and was beautifully shot. I am still waiting for a DVD of this and hopefully it will be made. It deserves having one and I was hoping it would ride the coattails of the Seabiscuit publicity tail, but apparently not. In summary, a nice story of a horse who triumphs despite a greedy trainer and owner who overwork the animal....at least according to the movie. Yeah, I realize there is a good chance much of this was exaggerated. The film industry tends to fictionalize these "true" stories. Whatever the case, this is a great story.


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