Watch A Man Called Horse
- 1 hr 54 min
A Man Called Horse, released in 1970, is a Western drama film directed by Elliot Silverstein, starring Richard Harris as John Morgan, a British aristocrat who joins a Sioux tribe as part of his spiritual quest. The film portrays the struggles of a man caught between two worlds, as he adapts to the Native American lifestyle, customs and beliefs.
The movie begins with John Morgan, a wealthy and privileged Englishman, arriving in the Dakota Territory in the 1820s to hunt wild game. However, he is soon captured by a group of Sioux warriors and is held captive as a slave. As time passes, he is given the opportunity to prove his worth by showing his courage and strength.
John undergoes a series of grueling tribal tests and rituals to win acceptance by the Sioux, including hanging by his chest from a wooden pole by hooks that pierce his flesh. He endures these trials in order to become a warrior and gain freedom. Through these ordeals, he proves himself to be a fearless and resilient individual, admired by his captors for his tenacity and bravery.
As he begins to understand and embrace the Sioux way of life, John becomes known as "Horse" among the tribe, a name given to him as he showed great skill and bravery with horses. He becomes part of the tribe, learning their language, customs and traditions. He soon meets and falls in love with a young Sioux woman named Running Deer (played by Corinna Tsopei), and the two become close.
As John's transformation grows deeper, he discovers that the tribe is threatened by another tribe, and his warrior skills will be needed to protect them. John's loyalty and devotion to the Sioux tribe are tested when he is called upon to lead a battle against the enemy. The scenes surrounding the battle are intense and dramatic, depicting the harsh reality of war.
As the battle ends, John realizes he must choose between staying with the Sioux and returning to his previous life in England. He decides to remain with the tribe, sacrificing his English heritage for his loyalty to the Sioux. The movie ends with a scene in which John, now fully accepted by the Sioux, is shown participating in a traditional Native American dance.
A Man Called Horse is a powerful and poignant film, exploring themes of identity, bravery, and loyalty. The film provides an unflinching insight into the lives of the Native American people, their culture and their struggles, while highlighting the importance of understanding and respecting different cultural traditions.
Richard Harris delivers a commanding performance, capturing the internal struggle and transformation of his character with poise and depth. Judith Anderson and Jean Gascon both give strong supporting performances, playing the key roles of Sioux chieftainess and medicine man, respectively. The filmâs director Elliot Silverstein skillfully creates a sense of immersion within the world of the Sioux tribe, drawing the viewer into the filmâs stunningly beautiful yet harsh landscapes.
A Man Called Horse is a highly recommended film for anyone interested in Western, historical, or cultural cinema. Its themes remain relevant even today, highlighting the importance of cultural understanding, respect, and empathy.
A Man Called Horse is a 1970 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 46.