Tag: film

35th Anniversary Interview with Jeanne Rosenberg

Here’s a special treat for you, an interview with Jeanne Rosenberg, the screenwriter on the movie of “The Black Stallion” (1979)
She was there in the early days and we all had a very strange trip … at the track, on the Drake and back home again. Thanks to our friends at the Horse Channel and Horse Illustrated. Check out the November magazine for two more articles on “The Black Stallion”!HI nov

Don’t forget to pick up a little piece of history for yourself @ the Gift Shop!

The Black Stallion Film’s 35-year Anniversary
Screenwriter Jeanne Rosenberg recalls her unlikely path to the job.
By Elizabeth Kaye McCall | September 2014

Never doubt the impact of a college course on life. Los Angeles screenwriter Jeanne Rosenberg can vouch for it. “I had written a script analysis of my favorite childhood book, The Black Stallion, when I was in film school,” says Rosenberg about the door that opened her screenwriting career. “After I graduated, I found out that they were making it into a movie and Carroll Ballard was directing it. I wrote him a letter. I had done a script analysis. He called and said, ‘I really like what you wrote. We have to get together.’ Time passed, we didn’t get together. I called again. ‘Oh, they’re in Canada in pre-production.’ I called him again. He apologized for not getting back to me.”
Crazy about horses from her earliest girlhood memories in Illinois, Rosenberg grabbed the reins of her own destiny. “I said, ‘Oh, I’m coming your way. Do you mind? Maybe I’ll just stop in.’ I was flying from Los Angeles to the Midwest and they were in Toronto.” She arrived in the midst of chaos. “People were tearing their hair out because Carroll wouldn’t commit to anything,” she recalls. “We were supposed to meet for coffee one morning. He was late. I was making some notes on a napkin. He showed up, grabbed the napkin out of my hand and kept my notes. I went home and got another call. ‘Carroll would like you to come back. We need help on the script.”

Rosenberg’s initiative paid off. “It was total chaos when I arrived in the pre-production phase. Melissa Mathison [who later wrote “ET”] got off another plane and we met and became this writing team as we were about to shoot,” she describes. “Carroll hadn’t committed to a screenplay! All the actors were there. Everyone was. The art department didn’t know where to go to dress the set. They didn’t even know the locations. Do we need a farm house? Do we need a race track? What do we need? Carroll liked to keep everything open and see what developed. To have an entire film crew that had to be told [what to do] at every moment and to get that information from a guy who doesn’t like to make decisions is tough,” Rosenberg laughs. “He was driving everyone crazy, of course.”

A graduate of USC Film School [now USC School of Cinematic Arts], Rosenberg planned on a documentary film career. “I remember being forced to take a writing class and thinking, ‘This is ridiculous. There’s no way I’m writing.’ And, here I am,” adds the real-life horsewoman and reining competitor, whose scores of film credits include family favorites like “White Fang,” “Bambi II,” and “The Young Black Stallion.”

The date “The Black Stallion” started shooting in Toronto is etched on Rosenberg’s mind. It was 7/7/77. “We shot the second part of the movie first,” she notes. Meanwhile, preparations were underway to move the crew overseas to film the first half of the movie. “Carroll kept refusing to let us write the island sequence,” says Rosenberg. “Of course, we did it anyway. He has an amazing eye and is quite a storyteller. But he was really more used to being a one-man band, making all of the decisions on the fly.”

Now the mother of two grown children, Rosenberg writes from an office with a view of her American Quarter Horses. She revisited the production that launched her career this summer, when film critic Stephen Farber held a 35th anniversary screening of “The Black Stallion” in Los Angeles.

From a personal standpoint, Rosenberg shares that “The Black Stallion’s” magic remains. “It was fun to see again,” she says. If any scenes can be favorites, these made Rosenberg’s list: “The shipwreck sequence is amazing and scary. The whole island scene was everyone’s favorite. When the boy wakes up on the beach and is staring straight at a cobra ready to strike, and The Black comes and saves him—that’s a wonderful scene. Of course, the boy climbing on The Black for the first time is brilliant. But it all goes back to Walter Farley’s novel,” adds Rosenberg. “He wrote such a wonderful, descriptive story.”


dayton horses dayton poster Dayton


If you haven’t seen this film yet – take a little time this evening to treat yourself to the spirit of the West and a cowboy’s passion.

The director of the movie says it best in her own words;
“When I first encountered Dayton Hyde he was living alone on 11,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota, surrounded by the thundering hooves of horses and the music of song birds. His stories of the West and his passion for wildlife captivated me, and I knew I would be back to create a film about a man who found freedom in the horses he is saving. Twenty years later, Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde captures the essence of a man who as a cowboy, a poet and an inspiration, has handed his heart over to the West. The film looks back on his rich, diverse life and looks forward to his legacy, opening the eyes of a new generation to the beauty and fragility of what is left of this natural landscape.”

Suzanne Mitchell (Movie home site)

Buy the DVD. Rent / buy the download.

It’s a reel treat – enjoy the show! Don’t forget it’s Valentine’s Day coming and you need to get your GIFTS!!

Your ‘ol pal down the trail – tim

Here Comes the BLU-RAY!!

blu ray

Finally after waiting years the HD of “the Black Stallion” feature film is coming out on Blu-Ray! Yeah!
Coppola’s American Zoetrope / MGM 1979 Academy Award winning movie will be released on March 18, 2014 on Blu-ray disk. Carroll Ballard directed Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney and a cast of classic stars in one of the most popular movies of all time. The critic Pauline Kael of the New Yorker wrote, “this may be the greatest children’s film of all time”.

As I had the honor of being able to work on the movie from the very first days, even before filming began, going around with Carroll and Dad to look for THE STALLION. What a long wonderful road it’s been.
So many of us have been asking for a HD version and it should look great on that huge flatscreen TV you are watching the Superbowl on tomorrow.

Once this comes out they may be inspired to put it together as a trilogy with “Black Stallion Returns” and “Young Black Stallion” as a set … or even better a TV mini series! We’re still working on getting that next feature, “Black Stallion Revolts“, in production. Why does it take so long in Hollywood? Maybe they have too many cars and not enough horses!

You can pre-order the disk now through Amazon  (you have to click on the blu-ray choice) BUT, if I were you, I’d wait a bit ’cause I’m getting a DISCOUNT code which will save us all a little money. The disks are still in production but they promised to send me the code soon – you won’t get the Blu-ray till March 18 anywhere so get it HERE for less!

Happy Days and I’ll post the code ASAP!

Enjoy the Ride!
your friends in the saddle – Tim & Pam Farley

“Houdini” the magic Horse – We’ll miss you!

Photography: Courtesy Bobby Lovgren

My friend and writer E. McCall just finished this interview with the fabulous Hollywood horse trainer Bobby Lovgren for the latest Cowboys & Indians magazine.
Bobby worked a lot with Corky Randall, head trainer on the Black Stallion movies, and Houdini was one of the “stars” in the “Zorro” movies and “Lone Ranger” among others. The Hollywood horse world is a tough business and anyone that can take the ups and downs, hurry up and waits and last minute changes deserves way more than the little wrangler / handler / trainer line somewhere hidden at the end of the credits. These guys and gals know how to get the best out of their horses and – ON CUE!!!

As the famous cowboy Roy Rogers once wrote; “Just as with human beings, so I believe it is a fact about horses; some are born to perform and some are not. When Trigger and I are about to ride into an arena, I can feel the surge of excitement run through him before the spotlight hits us. I am convinced he takes pride in his accomplishments and that he not only recognizes me but loves me… no two humans are alike, nor are two horses.”

I hope you enjoy this talk with a present day horseman and trainer, Bobby Lovgren,

Farewell Houdini: Veteran Hollywood Horse Often Played Horse Of A Different Color In Storied Career

Apr 11, 2013 – 08:01 AM

It will take time until Hollywood horse trainer Bobby Lovgren and family look back on March 27, 2013, as anything but the day Houdini died.  It also happened to be Lovgren’s 48th birthday. That morning, Lovgren made a quick trip to a studio in Los Angeles and picked up a saddle. He was driving home to his ranch in Acton, when his wife Wendy called, “Houdini is sick.”

An hour later, the Lovgrens made a difficult decision together with the two veterinarians called in.  The buckskin quarter horse gelding who’d made his mark in an elite cadre of Hollywood movie horses, now joined the ranks of those deceased.

Cowboys & Indians: What stands out about Houdini’s long career as an equine actor?

Bobby Lovgren: The biggest thing I can say about him, is that he was so much a part of our family. His very first big film was The Mask of Zorro [1998]. Corky Randall hired me on that. Houdini was Captain Love’s horse. I think that was one of two films where he was his own color — buckskin. Most of the time he was black, so he could double other horses. Houdini was such a confidence booster. I can’t even begin to remember all the actors that that he really babysat for, gave lessons to and things like that. This had nothing to do with my training. It was just the quality of the horse and his attitude. All my training did was enhance that.

C&I: How old was Houdini?

Lovgren: We got him in Lakeview Terrace from my horse shoer. I was told he was out of Dash for Cash, but I never got his papers. I think he was 12 when I got him. We never knew exactly. We think he was around 26 when he died, but he always acted like a 15-year-old horse or even younger, because he was always in shape. Obviously, the older Houdini got, I was very protective of what he did. He did the little specialty things. If it was difficult, I had a double for him.

C&I: Who are some of the actors who rode Houdini in his film career?

Lovgren: I think the biggest was on the second Zorro, The Legend of Zorro [2005]. Antonio Banderas rode Houdini the entire time through that.  We doubled him to look like a Friesian. We did a lot of the things at liberty with Antonio, which he really liked. I’d work Houdini on the whips [like a conductor leading an orchestra] and Antonio would ride. That’s how we got his riding much better. Although he rode very well to begin with, he really enjoyed doing that with Houdini. We would work Houdini and I’d take the bridle off and work him loose with the Antonio on him. That’s how I give a lot of my lessons, actually. It gives them [actors] their balance much better. Those things are such confidence builders when you go into a project.  He gave that. Houdini actually had quite a big sequence in “The Lone Ranger.” I can’t say what he did yet because the movie hasn’t been released, but he has a really nice part in that.

C&I: Can you say what color he was, so we can look for him?
For the rest of the story click here

Enjoy the ride … for as long as you can!

Thanks to Hunter Hauk @ C&I – TF