Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991)

This is an okay movie based on a true story. Teenager Sonora Webster (Gabrielle Anwar) and her younger sister are living with their aunt because their parents were killed in an accident. Sonora is an unruly girl and her aunt threatens to send her to foster care. The young girl sees a newspaper ad asking for someone to ride a diving horse. She runs away from home and convinces the owner to accept her. During a performance a horse is frightened and she gets injured, possibly disqualifying her from the job. However, she has a strong heart and great courage and refuses to give up.

The film is based on the 1961 memoir, A Girl and Five Brave Horses. Horse diving shows were started by William Carver in the 1880s. After WW2 the shows stopped due to complaints from animal rights activists. Sonora lived to be 99 and died in 2003 in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Her younger sister Arnette stated that no horse was ever harmed. The film was shot in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

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