- 2 hr 16 min
Starring Viggo Mortensen as Frank Hopkins, Hidalgo is a pseudo-biographical drama written by John Fusco and directed by Joe Johnston. Hopkins is an American in the old west known for his skill with horses, serving both as a stunt rider and a government messenger. In the former of these jobs, Hopkins delivered the message that caused the Wounded Knee massacre, which he has always felt guilt about due to his heritage as half Native-American. The film shows Hopkin's struggle not only to win a horse race competition but his inner struggle with his guilt and ancestry. While riding in Buffalo Bill's Wilde West Show, Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo are advertised as the fasted distance riders in the world. A moneyed Sheikh demands that Hopkins prove himself and join a survival horse race in an Arabian desert called the Ocean of Fire. He is the first foreign competitor, and Hidalgo is the first horse to compete that isn't a pure-blooded Arabian. Odds are against Frank in the race as the other competitors believe that both he and his non-thoroughbred horse are unworthy of competing. Determined to win the race to use the prize money for saving America's dwindling mustang population, being culled by the American government who no longer want Native Americans to rely on the horses, Hopkins fights to finish the race and not lose his life to his competitors. During the race several attempts are made on Hopkins' life, and he saves the life of the sheikh's daughter. With his new ally's help Hopkins is able to avoid death at the hands of his competitors but nearly comes to his end in the cruel heat of the desert. Hidalgo is able to make one final push to carry Frank through the last stages of the race of which he proves to be the winner. Frank uses his money as he hoped to and, after acquiring the mustangs, he frees both them and Hidalgo.