The Electric Horseman (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A boozy ex-rodeo champ sells out and becomes a glitzy breakfast cereal pitchman. He hates it, and in his sober moments wonders what happened to his formerly charmed life. The one bright spot in Sonny Steele's existence comes during public appearances (where he is decked out like a Christmas tree in electric lights) when he gets to ride the magnificent stallion Rising Star. The trouble begins when Steele discovers that the ad men have been shooting Rising Star full of tranquilizers so the spirited beast will behave during shows. Perhaps seeing a parallel in his own life, Steele snaps and decides to kidnap the horse and high-tail it to the desert. As the stallion is extremely valuable, a massive horsehunt is launched. No one cares a whit for Sonny and the orders are to "shoot to kill" if need be. The only one who succeeds in finding him is a plucky female reporter. She sticks to him like glue and makes sure the country learns of Sonny and Rising Star's plight. Along the way, the cowboy and the reporter also find time to fall in love.
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video


Robert Redford
as Sonny Steele
Jane Fonda
as Alice `Hallie' Martin
Valerie Perrine
as Charlotta
Willie Nelson
as Wendell
John Saxon
as Hunt Sears
Nicolas Coster
as Fitzgerald
Allan Arbus
as Danny Miles
Will Hare
as Gus Atwater
Basil Hoffman
as Toland
James Kline
as Tommy
Frank Speiser
as Bernie
Lois Areno
as Joanna Camden
Quinn K. Redeker
as Bud Broderick
Sarah Harris
as Lucinda
Tasha Zemrus
as Louise
James Novak
as Dennis
Michele Heyden
as Sonny Angel
Robin Timm
as Model Narrator
Patricia Blair
as Fashion Narrator
Gary M. Fox
as Bell Man
Richard Perlmutter
as Desk Clerk
Theresa Ann Dent
as Ranch Breakfast Model
Perry Sheehan Adiar
as Mrs. George Phillips
Sarge Allen
as Mr. Phillips
Richard Knoll
as Dealer
Lois Hamilton
as Joanna
Angelo Giouzelis
as Maitre 'D
Mark Jamison
as Major Domo
Debra L. Maxwell
as Convention Hostess
Brendan Kelly
as Grocer
Shelia B. Wakely
as Store Clerk
X.V. Kelly
as Sheriff
Gary Shermaine
as Trucker
Gary D. Liddiard
as Townsman
Jerry Kurland
as AMPCO Person
J. Carlton Adair
as AMPCO Person
Charles J. Monahan
as AMPCO Person
George W. Etter
as AMPCO Person
Raymond G. Maupin
as AMPCO Person
Bob Barrett
as AMPCO Person
Red McIlvaine
as Reporter
Frank Nicholas
as Reporter
Johnny Magnus
as Reporter
Vic Vallaro
as Reporter
Bob Bailey
as Reporter
Roger Lowe
as Reporter
Sydney Pollack
as Man Who Makes a Pass at Alice
James B. Sikking
as Dietrich
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Electric Horseman

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

A moderately entertaining film, but no screen magic from Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. The pic is overlong, talky and diffused.

Full Review… | May 26, 2008
Top Critic

Beguilingly sharp at first, but the later stages, with Fonda's toughie reporter tagging along for a story but going all mushy inside, wallow in sentimentality about integrity, ecology and all that jazz.

January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

At this point, I think it's reasonably safe to say that The Electric Horseman is the best American romantic comedy of 1979.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The Electric Horseman is the kind of movie they used to make.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Warmhearted romance with an anti-corporate perspective.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Common Sense Media

In their second appearance, Redford and Fonda have charm and show good chemistry but, they are too old for this formulatic, old-fashioned romantic comedy about a burnt-out rodeo star and TV journalist

Full Review… | February 3, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Electric Horseman


***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Redford and Fonda succeed in showing corporate America, with all their power, lose a battle for a 12 million dollar horse. Redford, long tired of pitching cereal food at promotional events, decides he and this horse, Rising Star, have had enough. [img][/img] But opposites attract, or so it's claimed, so we also see a unexpected romance plot appear. I suppose it had to happen with a man and a woman sleeping in the wide open wilderness and together long enough that some sparks have to fly. [img][/img] SEE the trailer here: The Electric Horseman is a 1979 adventure and romance feature film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and directed by Sydney Pollack. It was the third time Redford and Fonda starred together in a feature film, having previously teamed on The Chase (1966) and Barefoot in the Park (1967). [img][/img] The real Horseman shown here SEE the film here: Borders on "lame" comedy more than a few times, but the true honesty of the character Redford plays makes up for all of it. City gal Jane Fonda becomes a convert to Redford's plain ways over time. A fine film about values contrasted against Las Vegas greed. [img][/img] Willie Nelson's debut film NOTES: 1 The Electric Horseman is noted as being the debut acting performance of long-time country and western singer Willie Nelson, who plays the role of Wendell Hickson. 2 According to Pollack, Nelson improvised most of his dialogue in the film. In addition to co-starring, Nelson contributed significantly to the film's soundtrack as well, singing five songs including "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys", "Midnight Rider," "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," "So You Think You're a Cowboy" and "Hands on the Wheel." [img][/img] All wired up, the Electric Horseman REVIEWERS: 1 100% In my top 10 of all time great romances. Redford and Fonda at their best. AND it holds up to time. If you like romantic comedires with a bit of intell... 2 80% A fun movie. Starring Robert Redford Jane Fonda Valerie Perrine John Saxon Willie Nelson [img][/img] The deed is done Directed by Sydney Pollack Produced by Ray Stark Written by Shelly Burton Paul Gaer Robert Garland (screenplay) [img][/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

I didn't get to see the whole movie, but from what I saw it's very boring. I will see it again some day to give it another chance, though.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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