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Running Free

not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Drama and Action Adventure
1 hr. 22 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Poster—Running Free (copyrighted)
Featuring: Chase Moore, Arie Verveen, Lukas Haas, Jan Decleir, Maria Geelbooi
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Producer: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Distributor: Columbia Tristar

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “…visually stunning dramatic adventure RUNNING FREE, in which one courageous horse grows from an awkward colt into a magnificent stallion at the edge of the rugged, inhospitable Skeleton Coast of Namibia. In 1914, Lucky is born aboard a tempest-tossed German supply steamer transporting his mother and other workhorses to Africa. Torn from her side shortly after arrival and left to fend for himself in a strange and unforgiving environment, the vulnerable foal is adopted by an orphaned stable boy, Richard (Chase Moore), in a mining town. When the townspeople must flee due to encroaching war, Lucky is abandoned, bereft of his young companion and caretaker, until a young Bushman girl comes into town and escorts Lucky into the desert. There, she helps him learn how to survive in the harsh, untamed wilderness.

Scene from Running Free (Copyright 2000, Columbia Pictures)Lucky’s journey eventually leads him back to the destroyed mining town where he reunites with a young mare, Beauty, whom he first fell in love with as a foal, and undertakes a heroic mission to defeat the domineering stallion Caesar to become the leader of the herd.”

Viewer Comments
Movie Critics
…Heroic, adolescently passionate story of a horse and his boy, set in World War I era South Africa… The visual storytelling is so strong it would have told the tale quite adequately, even eloquently, without resorting to the horse’s mouth.
John Anderson, Newsday
…This story of bravery, survival and sacrific will be long remembered… a visual treat…
Mary Draughton, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…No profanity, no sex, moderate violence…
…Sober and handsomely photographed, this film is sadly undermined by its use of voice-over narration… staging and cutting does a perfectly good job conveying their [horses] anthropomorphized feelings and motives…
TV Guide