Jul 20

Movie Review: Buck Brannaman- The Real Horse Whisperer


Posted by : Gail Russell

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised while digging through the $5.00 movie bin at Walmart and found a documentary called Buck.  I had stopped in for raspberries and they only had those with a Dole label on them so I passed.

The movie bins are usually in the back near electronics but this store had moved them up front where I couldn’t leave the store without stopping just to take a quick look.  These bins have a pretty good selection if you are willing to dig to the bottom: many of the usual shoot-em-ups, nearly all the mindless American comedies, some of the best American comedies, pretty much every sentimental tear jerker, all the epics, just about every American made, Academy Award winner, and lately a sampling of Spanish language films.  If you wait long enough, you can find nearly everything you want as long as it is not foreign, obscure independent, or documentary.



I was very surprised to see a documentary that I saw several years ago and have watched several times since, called Buck.

Buck, is the true story behind the old Robert Redford movie, The Horse Whisperer.  While the movie was interesting, and beautifully filmed, the documentary is amazing.  The true-life person, Buck Brannaman, the model for the main character in the movie, is incredibly fascinating and inspirational.  Buck says, “There are no bad horses, just bad owners.”  He runs four-day clinics all over the country to help horse owners handle their animals in an effective, firm but kind fashion. He describes his work, “Rather than helping people with horse problems, I help horses with people problems.”

Because of his own physically abusive upbringing, Buck tosses aside the notion of “breaking” a horse in favor of other methods, which empathetically communicate the owners’ desires to the animal.  “When something is scared for their life, I understand that.”  Buck shows the horse owners how to teach their animals without using the cruelty of traditional methods.

When the film is over, the viewer knows the world is a better place because Buck is in it.

Robert Redford says it best when he describes the authentic air of gentleness of spirit and humanity that comes off Buck.  See this film.  If you can’t find it in the bin, it is available on Netflix and is a great movie.

Gail Russell- Buck review

Gail Russell

Read about Gail on the about page!


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