|Steven Spielberg director||previously directed The Adventures of Tintin|
Steven Spielberg's latest follows the World War I adventures of a boy and his trusty horse.
1 More Quote
What kind of a horse?
|Michael Morpurgo||based on a novel by|
|Jeremy Irvine||Albert Naracott|
|Peter Mullan||Ted Naracott|
|Emily Watson||Rose Naracott|
|Benedict Cumberbatch||Major Stewart|
|Tom Hiddleston||Captain Nichols|
|Stephen Graham||Sgt. Sam Perkins|
|Patrick Kennedy||Lieutenant Waverly|
|See Full Credits|
Set in World War I, Steven Spielberg's War Horse is a British-American film about a boy, Albert and his horse, Joey that is sold to the Calvary and shipped to France to the frontlines of The Great War. Originally based on the children's novel and the stage play of the same name, the film stars Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, and Benedict Cumberbatch. It is Spielberg's first foray into the World War I time period as he has directed seven films set before or during World War II. He admits that before he heard of the War Horse book or play he had little interest in World War I.
Between 2006 and 2009, original author Michael Morpurgo, and writers Lee Hall and Revel Guest worked on their proposed film version where Hall and Morpurgo would write while Guest would serve as producer. A lack of finances meant the project was only being arranged with an informal agreement. However after Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy were told about the play by several friends, he asked if the rights to the book had been bought yet. He then began discussions with Revel Guest and had DreamWorks purchase the rights to film the book. As to why he chose DreamWorks, Spielberg stated "From the moment I read Michael Morpurgo's novel War Horse, I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make ... Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country".
Spielberg went and saw the play on February 1, 2010 and then later met with the cast of play afterwards. He admitted to have been moved to tears by the play. Hall later commented that he finished the script and that Spielberg was interested in the script and after seeing Spielberg told him he'd like to make the film himself. Executive Stacey Snider at DreamWorks suggested writer Richard Curtis to Spielberg for rewrites on the script because she worked with him during her time at Universal and he was familiar with the time period. He was unsure though about accepting the offer but after meeting with Spielberg about it, he agreed. He stated that his screenplay was closer to the book rather than the play and was able to produce over a dozen drafts of the script in just three months.
Principal Photography commenced under the codename Dartmoor with the cavalry scenes at Stratfield Saye House in North Hampshire at the estate of the Duke of Wellington. There a cavalry charge involving 130 extras was filmed. Filming at Dartmoor, Devon began in August 2010 and filming locations included the villages of Meavy and Sheepstor, and the Ditsworthy Warren House were used in filming. Spielberg purposely chose Dartmoor for it's beauty and said "I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor ... And, with two-and-a-half weeks of extensive coverage of landscapes and skies, I hardly scratched the surface of the visual opportunities that were offered to me".
Only rural locations were used in Devon and so the main village in the story was shot in the town of Castle Combe despite the noted difference in the architecture between the two towns. Filming there began on September 21, 2010 to October 1, 2010. Heightened security around the town caused many residents to complain since they couldn't get past the barriers in the town to get to their homes.
Filming then moved to Surrey at Wisley Airfield where the no-mans land battlefield scenes were shot. Two weeks from October 4, 2010 were spent shooting the war camp scenes in Surrey at Bourne Wood. Filming also took place in Wales and studio filming took place in Surrey and in London. The entire film save for a few pickup shots filmed in California was shot in the UK.
A total of fourteen horses in the film played Joey with eight playing the adult Joey, four playing him as a colt, and two as a foal. The other main horse in the film, Topthorn was played a total of four horses. In one scene, 280 horses were used and Spielberg said working with horses on this scale was a new experience for him as several of his family members ride horses but he himself does not. During the editing process, Spielberg for the first time edited the film digitally instead of manually cutting films as he has always done. It was editor Michael Kahn's second time using digital technology to edit after using for the first time for editing Spielberg's other 2011 film The Adventures of Tintin. Kahn and Spielberg have worked together since 1977 when Kahn was hired to edit one of Spielberg's earliest films, Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
Reception to the film was mainly positive like Spielberg's other film released in December 2011-The Adventures of Tintin. On review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, the garnered a 77% approval rate from critics out of 196reviews. The general consensus was "Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair." From audiences, the film has a 74% approval rate out of 34, 843 ratings from users on the site. Noted film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5/4 stars and even compared it to Spielberg's 1993 World War II drama Schindler's List saying: "The film is made with superb artistry. Spielberg is the master of an awesome canvas." Other "Top Critics" like Justin Chang of Variety Magazine saying in his review: "This beautifully composed picture brings a robust physicality to tried-and-true source material, but falls short of the sustained narrative involvement and emotional drive its resolutely old-fashioned storytelling demands."
Many critics pointed out that the film was not only a remarkable technical achievement but it's story was a top notch Spielberg tale. The film was positively compared to Spielberg's 1998 film Saving Private Ryan as both films feature enormous battlefield scenes (Omaha Beach in SRP and "no-mans land in War Horse) and the film was also called by many critics to be this generation's All Quiet on the Western Front. Screened's own Matthew Rorie awarded the film three stars (out of five) and said the film lacked "the spark" of Spielberg's previous war films such as Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. At the 69th Golden Globe Awards the film was nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture-Drama and and Best Original Score though did not win either award. It also five nominations at the British Academy Film Awards (The BAFTAs) for Best Film Music, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects. It did not win any of them however. The film also received six nominations at 84th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.
As per usual with his films, Steven Spielberg hired his long time friend and legendary composer John Williams to write the score for the film. He recorded his pieces from late March 2011 to early April. One of the Orchestra members, Tuba player Tim Self talked about the film's music saying "For John Williams I recently finished recording for the film War Horse. It's a war movie so the score has a lot of brass — but it was gentile music often". John Tams who wrote the songs for the stageplay was approached by Spielberg and Williams about including some of his songs in the film. Williams wrote a total of sixteen songs for the film. At 84th Academy Awards, Jon Williams received a nomination for Best Original Score for the film making it his 46th Oscar Nomination. Williams also received a nomination for his score for The Adventures of Tintin as well; making that his 47th nomination.
|1. Dartmoor, 1912||3:35|
|2. The Auction||3:34|
|3. Bringing Joey Home||4:42|
|4. Learning The Call||3:20|
|5. Seeding, and Horse Vs Car.||3:33|
|7. Ruined Crop, And Going To War||3:29|
|8. The Charge and Capture||3:21|
|9. The Desertion||2:33|
|10. Joey's New Friends||3:30|
|11. Pulling The Cannon||4:11|
|12. The Death of The Tophorn||2:45|
|13. No Man's Land||4:35|
|14. The Reunion||3:55|
|15. Remembering Emilie, And Finale||5:07|
|16. The Homecoming||8:06|
Trailer 2: War Horse
Oh god, just give Spielberg the Oscars already. All of them.
Trailer: War Horse
My assertion is that Steven Spielberg has some kind of sexual fetish targeted at small golden statuettes. That's the only way I can explain this trailer.
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