Frank T. Hopkins, a cowboy working in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show is troubled by the events he saw at Wounded Knee and by the way the Indians are treated in the show. Billed as the world’s greatest endurance rider, an Arabian sheik challenges the title and the rider to come ride in a great race across the desert. Once there he becomes embroiled in political intrigue – a desert prince is trying to seize the sheik’s breeding secrets to the great Arabian horses. Also an Englishwoman is trying to win the rights to breed one of her thoroughbred with the great Arabian champion. Hidalgo is the small, mixed breed horse that Hopkins rides and is a metaphor for Hopkins himself who is a half-breed born to a Lakota Indian woman, but has hid it from most everyone. If you take the film on surface value, it is a fun film; however the political overtones can be overweighing. It clearly offers cowboys and Arabs (nee Indians). The sheik’s daughter wants her freedom and exposes her face to the cowboy. Then there are gaping plot holes – it is amazing how many Arabs, including a lowly goat herder do speak English. Nevertheless, if you want to suspend your belief and can overlook the political implications of the movie, it can be a fun ride. Contains considerable violence, both in a depiction of the massacre at Wounded Knee and later killings during the Arabian adventure. There is one particularly grueling event involving an injury to Hidalgo.
“Plot From IMDB”
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson