Sylvester (1985) Poster


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Probably the best horse movie out there
oneandonly_jenn7 March 2002
I watched this movie all the time as a kid, back when I didn't have a horse and I didn't have any way to be around a horse. Now that I do have a horse I still watch this movie, and I'm still grabbed by it. I can sympathize with Charlie, thrill as she competes and be totally hooked by the ending. I can even hear the theme music when I ride! Every time I see this movie, I want to go out and ride and compete - it really motivates me! And I must have seen it a hundred times, possibly more. I highly recommend this movie, it is one of the best horse movies out there and probably the best eventing/jumping movie I've ever seen.
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An all over feel good, get off your butt and ride your horse movie.
lizzardlips633419 January 2001
I watched this movie on TV and fell in love with it then. About five years later I bought it and watched it at least 6 more times. The acting must of been good because as a horse rider myself, I could see and understand the feelings that Charlie was going through herself. The only thing that made me rewind the movie back was the part where she caught Sylvester, calmed him down, and after it bit her in the arm you can notice the poor use of cartoon-like footage of the horse running away. Other than that I will always find this movie in my heart every time I think about giving up or when I need some encouragement to ride horses.
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A horse movie for everybody
lightninboy11 May 2005
If you're a subscriber to Western Horseman, this movie is for you. And if you're not, it's still watchable. Melissa Gilbert plays an orphan girl Charlie (livestock auction market pusher from Marfa, Texas) who learns dressage. Richard Farnsworth plays Foster, her boss, who helps her enter a cowhorse named Sylvester Stallone in the Rolex at Lexington, Kentucky. The movie shows that Gilbert must have picked up some horsemanship somewhere along the way. Actually, Farnsworth's character prefers mules. If you've never seen the Rolex, watching this movie is a good way to get hooked on it. It is quite challenging and dangerous. Also in this story are Charlie's two younger brothers and a love interest.
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Fun but inaccurate
mustang_jag14 December 2006
I watched this movie before I rode horses, and I thought it was very exciting! Then I watched it years later after having had a few years' experience riding and competing. Though it's an entertaining movie, there are real inaccuracies that come with the riding and competition portions. Some of it is simply bad equitation and performance, but some of it is also the filmmakers not representing the level of competition properly. Also, the time frame used from the idea of training the horse until the competition is ridiculous. As a horse movie, it is definitely not the worst, and for the most part I still enjoyed it, but if you know horses well enough, you will notice the glaring flaws.
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Sylvester's location
savermedic2 May 2006
I saw this movie as it was being made. I am in a car on the highway scene when the horse ran away from the corral. I was 12 years old at the time. I love this movie because I get to see my hometown and the landscape I grew up with.This movie is a perfect movie for the family to enjoy and add to their collection. For those that Do not know where this movie is shot, it is in West Texas. The location is also the same location of where the movie "Giant" was filmed in the 50's and the last movie with James Dean. Melissa Gilbert is a great actress and of the set was great to have in our community while filming.

I recommend that you take the time to watch this movie and take pleasure in the storyline. Charlie's character is that of independence and confidence. She makes this movie and her ability to make her role believable is superb. I have to say I have seen this movie over 20 times and does not ever get old.
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Not for kids
tedknapp-124 March 2006
Parents, this movie is not for kids. I got this movie because my girls like horses and I wanted to see Melissa Gilbert in a different role. However, Melissa is no longer the innocent young girl from Little House on the Prairie; gratuitous profanity, sexual references, and frontal nudity during an attempted rape scene disqualify this as a family movie. It's unfortunate because the story line is actually good. Her hard work and dedication bring her to a decision point that will impact the rest of her life. As another review elsewhere wrote: while entirely predictable, and the story of a come-from-nowhere horse and rider may be cliché, the acting is believable and the riding shots are well-done.
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You liked that? Guess there's no accounting for taste.
katysue99230 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow I guess everyone has their own taste. I thought the movie was appalling. I've been riding and competing has a three day rider for almost twenty years and I've never seen a more unrealistic portrayal of my beloved sport- we used to watch it at the barn and make fun of it. The horse they used is a really nice 3-day horse that didn't look at all like the herd of Quarter horses she picks them out of. Besides that Melissa Gilbert can't ride to save her life- all the long shots are fabulous the horse looks great then the zoom in (and because it isn't the stunt rider anymore) he completely falls apart is strung out and her butt is stuck out so far it's hilarious. Beyond that the story is totally implausible-- you can't even take a horse to the shows she was going to without showing them at lower levels first-- it's completely against the rules- maybe a really well known rider could get permission to skip some of the requirements but you can't just start eventing a horse at the level she was supposedly at (although they never show her jumping any of the actual advanced fences at Rolex-- I jumped the stuff she was going over when I was a 12yr old pony clubber).

Honestly I'm flabbergasted I never thought any horse person would like this movie. Clearly everybody has their own opinion- hey I like International Velvet despite the fact that they shoot a horse on a plane- it's so flawed- the horse keeps hitting it's head on the ceiling of the plane (horses fly in planes with tons of headroom) the rider gives him a tranq, when it doesn't work he shoots him because if he gives him anymore tranq he'll "kill him" umm why wouldn't you just give him tranq till he either calmed down or died- why shoot him in the head while he is in a pressurized cabin and standing next to a bunch of other horse who could easily be set off by he shot. Never understood that. At least Tatum O'Neal can ride a little bit and they actually have real riders (like Brice Davidson) int he flick. I just can't think of a single thing to recommend the movie Sylvester. Big thumbs down on that one I wouldn't even watch it to laugh at it- I'm embarrassed to think someone would watch it and think that it is in any way a representative of eventing.
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This needs to be Re-rated by the MPAA!
wefr200222 July 2007
PG Movie? There's Dreamer, the Shrek movies, Flushed Away and so forth are all PG movies. If you are looking for a family-friendly horse-related movie keep looking. I sat down to watch this with my 9-year old daughter. We didn't last long. An attempted rape, nudity, constant cursing ... not a PG movie for the average family.

How did this get a PG rating? If there is ever a film that should be re-examined by the ratings board this is it.

Bottom Line: If you don't typically entertain your kids with sexual violence, nudity, and prolonged and continuous cursing (plenty of GDs and so forth) then don't bother with Sylvester.
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True Story!
MerlynLover27 July 2007
As much as people might make fun of the improbability of the story line, it is actually a true story. My mom has seen Charlie and Sylvester, many years ago albeit, at a competition, but they actually exist. I will admit I think it is a bit shaky and "no way" at times and Melissa Gilbert is a REALLY bad rider, it is true. My mom and I watch this movie a lot and though we laugh at the stupid parts, it really has a good story line, was relatively well made. The horse who played Sylvester is exceptional, but sometimes the bad riding skills of Melissa Gilbert draw away from that, but the thing that truly makes this movie amazing is the reminder that it is a true story. I am inspired by the movie and I truly enjoy watching this movie.
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Great Horses!
specterman30 June 2018
When I first saw this movie I would have given anything to own the horse Slyvester. He was an awesome looking gray, but I would have kept him as a western riding horse.
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