The Red Pony

The Red Pony

DVD - 2013
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John Steinbeck adapted three of his own classic short stories to create a powerful family portrait. Young Tom is unable to find the love and guidance he needs from his parents. For friendship and support, Tom turns to the easy-going hired hand, Billy Buck. In an attempt to become closer to his son, Tom's father gives him a red pony to raise. As the horse becomes the focus of Tom's life, it ultimately drives the family further apart as Tom turns to Billy for help in rearing his beloved pet.
Publisher: [United States : Olive Films, 2013]
Edition: Fullscreen version
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (89 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Nov 10, 2016

I recommend this DVD. The story is subtle and slow moving. It is not to sexual or violent for children. The father is inept and insecure. He is continuously looking for extreme external confirmation from his son, he is okay as a father. He wants extreme confirmation from his wife he is okay as a man and husband. Everyone pays this price for his insecurities and jealousy especially the farm hired hand and the son.

Jun 30, 2015

Like John Garfield, Robert Mitchum is yet another one of my very favourite actors from that particular, by-gone era of moviedom history.

If you ask me, Mitchum was such an easy-to-like actor. Without any apparent pretentiousness, he casually projected just the right kind of masculinity (on-screen) which unanimously appealed to both men and women, alike.

So, with keeping that in mind - Is it any wonder that I found the best scenes in The Red Pony to clearly be the ones where Mitchum (as Billy Buck) played a direct part in the action? I mean, without this dude's presence I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this film to the degree that I did and I most likely would've rated it somewhat lower, as well.

For the most part - I'd say that The Red Pony (which was beautifully filmed in lush Technicolor) was a film that would be best enjoyed by children. There really wasn't much of a tale in this sentimental, Hollywood Western to hold the rapt attention of an adult.

Nov 24, 2014

The Red Pony is made up of a composite of various John Steinbeck short stories, the cobbling together necessitated in order to make a full length feature film. This cobbling is the film’s main weakness. This 1949 film was made before the expansion of TV, when families went to theaters together for a family outing. It is a family film. The separate stories would give the family many ideas to discuss as they leave the theatre. A kid trying to impress his classmates with his new pony, a man who is having problems relating to his wife, the management of his ranch, his aging father-in-law who himself is having difficulties with feeling worthless in retirement after a life of great adventure. And then we have the story of the highly skilled, highly confident ranch hand who learns he is not all-knowing. As Dirty Harry would say decades later, a man needs to know his limitations.


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