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Sunday, November 27, 2011

War Horse: A Movie I Wll NEVER See.

Spielberg is out with this movie War Horse. I'm sure that as the trailer says, it will make us laugh and cry. Probably mostly cry. Geeze. I'm an easy mark for a tear jerker movie, especially one with animals.

The main reason I can't watch this movie is from my family history. My Grandfather was a veterinarian and in WWI for the US Calvary, he went to the Hell on Earth that was the European battle fields. His task was to try to take care of the horses. Horrible!! The horses suffered incredibly. The men who took care of the horses, like my Grandfather, who cared for the animals suffered, because they were overwhelmed, pained  and changed by the slaughter house and meat grinder that the animals AND humans were thrust into.

Unlike men who can be deluded into participating in war; animals have no concepts of patriotism or really much interest in politics.  The fear and terror that they must have experienced is unimaginable.  The betrayal of the trust that they put into humans.  The pain and suffering.

I understand that the use of horses at the time of WWI was necessary. The military was in a transition from human and horse power to the more mechanized and impersonal wars that we have now.  Heroic horse calvary charges were standard.  Here is good short film about the reality of WWI War Horses.

So, while Steven Spielberg will have made a movie that will move us to tears and laughter, the ending will probably be sweet.  Boy and horse reunited.  Stirring motivational music.  Uplifting heroism.

I just can't bring myself to sit through a whitewashed version of the horrors of WWI to reach the happy ending.  YES. YES.  I know that no real animals were hurt in the movie and the technological effects of the film are likely to be fantastic.

When this is what Spielberg is showing us

When  THIS is the reality

As much as I would love a happy ending. I'm afraid that I'm much too cynical and realistic to see this movie.  Plus.....I think I would need a box of Kleenex to be able to get through the event.

If I'm wrong ....and you can assure me that I won't be sobbing by the end of the movie....give me a review.


  1. I'm sure blake will review it.

    This interests me threefold, first because my 12-year old daughter is a horse nut, second because I've been thinking and reading about WW I and also about tanks (which sort of replaced horses-armored cavalry were rooted in cavalry), and third because I saw the trailer on Thanksgiving and thought "I wonder WTF that is going to be about?"

    Thanks for the link to vid.

  2. If it weren't that I would turn into a blubbering sobbing hiccupping annoyance to everyone around me, I might consider the movie.

    Seriously. My Grandfather said it was horrible. Horses with compound fractures, ill, starving, wounded by artillery, slaughtered and eaten by the troops. Just knowing the truth makes me not want to see the varnished 'happy happy' ending version. There was no happy ending.

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  4. I am a reader - NEVER COMMENT -- over at Althouse.. and followed you over.

    I absolutely had the same thoughts when I saw the previews. No way. And said something similar to what you said.. but to my husband. His great great grandfather was in the cavalry during the Civil War. We have a photo of him (from an original tin type) with his horse.

    It must have been so awful for the horses.

  5. I read a review of the movie (it may have been in PJMedia but I'm not sure). The reviewer talked about a terrible scene where a terrified horse was trapped in barbed wire and struggled to break free, becoming even more entangled. He said his wife, who he described as not easily upset by harrowing movie scenes, had to leave the theater, as did others. So it sounds as if Spielberg may have attempted to depict something of the evil visited on helpless animals by war, but based on that horrible description I decided this is another Hollywood movie I won't see.

  6. I am an animal lover, not much of a horse freak, but I wish I could unwatch this movie. It took me days to get the ghastly scenes of animal cruelty; and complete disregard for life, (both human and animal) out of my head. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for the animals who had no choice. 8 million horses, donkeys, and mules died in the so called great war. Really the movie was way too much to stomach. I cried through the entire movie. Should have turned it off before they got to the Somme.