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Hidalgo [DVD] [2004]


Price: £3.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson, Louise Lombard, Adam Alexi-Malle
  • Directors: Joe Johnston
  • Writers: John Fusco
  • Producers: Casey Silver, Chris Salvaterra, Don Zepfel, Patricia Carr
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Arabic, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Aug. 2004
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002GX9HS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,154 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Period adventure set in 1890 based on a true story, starring Viggo Mortensen as Frank T Hopkins, a former US Cavalry officer with a reputation for being one of the fastest and most daring riders in the West. When he meets Aziz (Adam Alexi-Malle), an associate of wealthy Bedouin Sheikh Riyadh (Omar Sharif) in New York, Aziz invites him to take part in 'The Ocean of Fire', a gruelling annual 3000-mile desert horse race across the deserts of the Middle East from Arabia to Iraq. Hopkins accepts the challenge and, along with his trusty steed Hidalgo, sails to Arabia - where he quickly learns that the race course claims the lives of nearly half of its contestants, and that most of his competitors are riding pure-bred Arabian stallions and do not regard Hidalgo and his master as worthy adversaries. But with the support of Riyadh and his beautiful, spirited daughter, Jazira (Zuleikha Robinson), Hopkins determines to give the race his best shot...

From Amazon.co.uk

Director Joe Johnston has always had an entertaining sense of adventure, and with Hidalgo he proves it in spades. It's yet another underrated film for Johnston (along with such enjoyable popcorn flicks as The Rocketeer and Jurassic Park III), dismissed by many critics but a welcome treat for anyone drawn to good ol'-fashioned movie excitement. In his first role since playing Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen brings handsome appeal to his low-key portrayal of Frank T. Hopkins, a real-life long-distance horse racer who, as the movie opens, has witnessed the appalling massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1890. Drifting into Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, he agrees to compete, with his trusty mustang, Hidalgo, in "The Ocean of Fire," a treacherous 3,000-mile horse race across the Arabian desert. Toss in a bunch of conspiring competitors, a noble sheik (Omar Sharif), his lovely daughter (Zuleikha Robinson), and enough fast-paced danger to fill 133 minutes, and you've got a rousing, humorous, and lightly spiritual adventure that's a lot of fun to watch. It hardly matters that it's almost pure fiction (the real Hopkins was known by many as "a pathological liar"). More important is the love of movies and moviemaking that Johnston so delightfully conveys. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
The only reason I found out about Hidalgo was because my family rented it from a small corner shop quite a while ago. It was supposed to be just be a popcorn flick that would entertain us one dull Friday evening in winter. So my expectations were not high, so I was totally amazed by this film. Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) and Omar Sheriff (Lawrence of Arabia) gave tremendous performances and really carried the film well. The action scenes were fun, exciting and graphic enough to keep us teenagers entertained. The storyline was simple yet clever at the same time, and the film was basically fantastic.

More than just a good popcorn flick, an excellent film that managed to become hugely successful without the help of all the marketing etc. that Hollywood feels is necessary for every one of their disappointing turn-outs. 'A splendid romp'...as Jonathan Ross put it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 'BLU RAY' VERSION ***

For such a huge production piece - Joe Johnston's expertly directed "Hidalgo" seems to have eluded everybody. A sort of "Little Big Man" meets "Lawrence Of Arabia" hybrid - it garnished favourable reviews on release in early 2004 and a cult following on DVD later that year. It was even name-checked in the back pages of Leonard Maltin's Annual Movie Guide as a 'favorite'.

Well - I'd argue that it's time to mount your saddlebags once again folks and get some serious hot sand on your laser beams - because "Hidalgo" has very definitely been given a whole new lease of life on this beautifully transferred 2008 BLU RAY reissue...

Loosely based on the life of Frank Thomas Hopkins (played by Viggo Mortensen) and his fast-and-strong horse - the Spanish Mustang "Hidalgo" - John Fusco's screenplay spruces up his tale of daring-do a great deal (to some controversy it has to be said). Frank is initially presented to us as a repeated long-distance race winner as well as a dispatch rider for the less-than-chivalrous US Cavalry. Born of a Native Indian mother and European-American father, they named their 'half caste' son "Blue Child". But at the beginning of the movie (and although he speaks their tongue and loves their way of life) - we find Frank rather shamefully hiding what's in his blood and heart.

Then after witnessing the appalling aftermath of Wounded Knee (a massacre of defenceless Lakota Sioux Indians in South Dakota) - we move forward in time to find Frank pasty-faced and broken. Riding around on his famous steed, he's acting out Cowboys and Indians games for boorish patrons in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By IP on 1 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Leaving aside the issue of whether the plot is factually based, which is irrelevant to the quality of the film, it is a terrific portrait of the encounter between a quiet, self-reliant American and Arab culture. Self-taught rather than "book-learned," Frank Hopkins is free of cultural prejudices and willing to meet the Arabs on their own terms. He reminds me of rural great-uncles and aunts long dead now, products of the 19th century, whose unpretentious outlook, practical energy, and egalitarian respect for the perspective and dignity of others (including animals) made them universally liked and respected. I've never seen another film character that so fully embodies this 19th century American mentality. Read Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance and you'll get the general idea.

It's also a horse-lovers' film in a big way, from the mutually supportive working relationship between Frank and his paint horse, Hidalgo, to his use of the prize money from the race to save the Dakota mustangs from U.S. government extermination. As a mixed breed himself, Frank has a personal perspective on the issue of "breeding," whether in horses or humans, and the film demonstrates in many ways, without ever making an issue of it, how irrelevant race, parentage or culture are to the value of an individual. There are "goodies" and "baddies" on every side. Frank and Hidalgo overcome the initial hostility of Arabs to his cultural "strangeness" with integrity, fortitude, and a love of horses that transcends cultural barriers and touches their human commonality.

A thought provoking story with minimal violence and an excellent, overall non-sentimental respect for the natural world as well as the humans and animals that inhabit it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. Reynolds on 12 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is rather good. The storyline is easy to follow and the plot is in the same place but you can't really change it in this movie.
Based on a true story, Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings) is a wild cowboy type of man who races in long distance horse races though the country. His horse, called Hidalgo, who is a mustang has great endurance and has led Frank to never loose a race in his life.
Frank is invited to race in The Ocean of Fire, a 3000 mile race across the Arabian Desert along with the Arabians best horse racers. They are vicious racers and are not afraid to cheat. Can Hidalgo and Frank outrun the other competitors? Or will they die of thirst by sizzling in the baking hot sun?
This is a good adventure with some great action scenes. You're into it after the first 5 minutes. An outstanding performance by Viggo Mortensen and a great performance by 2 time Golden Globe award winner, Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia). Also starring Said Taghmaoui (Three Kings).
It's something different to what you usually see. Overall a good film which will give you a fun two hours.
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