- A Man Called Horse (1970 film)
name = A Man Called Horse
image_size = 175px
caption = original film poster
imdb_id = 0066049
amg_id = A31075
Jack DeWitt Dorothy M. Johnson
Richard Harris Judith Anderson
Frank Brill Sandy Howard
Leonard Rosenman Lloyd One Star
Robert Hauser Gabriel Torres
National General Pictures
28 April 1970
runtime = 114 min.
country = USA
language = English, Sioux
followed_by = "
The Return of a Man Called Horse"
"A Man Called Horse" is a 1970 American
Western filmstarring Richard Harrisand directed by Elliot Silverstein.
The film is based on a
short story, " A Man Called Horse", published in 1968 in the book "Indian Country" by Dorothy M. Johnson. Partially spoken in Sioux, the film tells the history of an English aristocratwho is captured by a Native American tribe.
Initially enslaved and treated as a plaything by the tribe and mocked by being treated as the animal of the film title initially, he comes to respect his captors' culture and also to gain their respect. He is assisted in understanding their culture and language by an existing captive, the tribe's fool, Batise, who had tried to escape in the past and was hamstrung behind both
knees. At one point, later in the film, when one of the warriors takes a vow never to retreat in battle, his changing perspective is shown, as he turns angrily on the uncomprehending Batise, telling him "Five years you've lived here, and you've learned "nothing" about these people – all his death is to you is a means of escape."
Determining that his only chance of eventual freedom is to gain the respect of the tribe and join its war parties, he overcomes his repugnance and kills two warriors from another tribe, which in turn allows him to claim warrior status. In the aftermath of his victory, he proposes
marriageto one of the tribal daughters with the horses as dowry, and undergoes painful initiation rites, taking the native name "Horse" as his Sioux name, and becomes a respected member of the tribe and ultimately following attack, their leader.
Two sequels to the original movie were made, both with Harris reprising his role:
Representation of cultures
The film notably treats both sides dispassionately, viewing neither from the view of the
white man, nor the native American Indian tribe, but from a viewpoint encompassing both cultures; its representation of tribal practices and rituals (including the Sun Dance) is described as being based upon historical recordsFact|date=June 2008. Jacquelyn Kilpatrickstated that the movie "must be discussed in terms of reality and authenticity."Fact|date=June 2008 She was not the only one who criticized the film for misrepresenting Native American culture. The perspective is very eurocentricand shows a white feature character who, after an unauthentic maltreatment by the tribe, marries the most beautiful woman in the tribe and fights off an enemy attack by installing British military strategies in midst of an ongoing battle.
Differences between the book and movie versions
*In the book, the character Batise is killed in the raid in which Horse is captured, but the movie has him survive to subsequently mentor Horse in the Lakota camp.
*Horse also tries to escape in the movie, but he does not in the book.
*The natives in the story are the Crow, whereas in the movie, they are members of the Sioux Nation.
*In the book, Horse is from
Boston, and in the movie he is from England.
Richard Harris… John Morgan
Judith Anderson… Buffalo Cow Head
Jean Gascon… Batise
Manu Tupou… Yellow Hand
Corinna Tsopei… Running Deer
Dub Taylor… Joe
James Gammon… Ed
William Jordan… Bent
Eddie Little Sky… Black Eagle
Michael Baseleon… Longfoot
Lina Marín… Thorn Rose
Tamara Garina… Elk Woman
Terry Leonard… Striking Bear
Iron Eyes Cody… Medicine man
Tom Tyon… Medicine man
The tribal people were acted by members of the
Rosebud Siouxtribe of South Dakota.
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