HORSE ABUSE...I have a very hard time watching many westerns on DVD these days.

Dick

Lead Actor
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
8,481
Real Name
Rick
Up until relatively recently, horses were routinely wounded and destroyed simply for the sake of getting an interesting shot in a western movie. Trip wires were engaged to topple these poor creatures, which were often left with broken necks or limbs and had to be killed, just to appease the audiences' lust for "great action" and stunt work. If you can stomach it, check out the 1938 CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (not on DVD yet), and see scores of these noble animals sent reeling head over hooves for the sake of entertainment value. Even as recently as 1975's BITE THE BULLET, which I saw for the first time a few nights ago and which prompted this rant, it is obvious horses (to say nothing of a rattlesnake) were actually put through the agonies they appear to be on screen and have been horribly maligned. As I grow older, life - all life, whether human or animal - becomes more precious to me. It becomes more horrifying daily to see how callous Hollywood has been toward animals. There are numerous westerns now - some of which had been among my favorites (STAGECOACH among them) - that I can no longer watch with any enjoyment because of the cruelty imposed upon them. I am aware that such treatment (theoretically) no longer exists due to animal rights activists and reps from the ASPCA on set. But this in no way diminishes the impact of so many animals being killed in the past so that we could experience a bigger thrill while watching movies. Anyone else of this mindset?
 

John Stone

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
680
Anyone else of this mindset?
I couldn't agree with you more. That sort of thing turns my stomach. So do the countless people who ignore animal cruelty, or just don't see anything wrong with exploiting animals for food and entertainment. We're pretty arrogant about how we treat "lesser" creatures. There's an incomprehensibly large Universe out there. I'll wager that we are, comparatively speaking, "lesser" creatures. If such a time comes that we are visited by more advanced civilizations, we will have nothing to complain about if they find us entertaining or tasty enough to exploit. Perhaps our cries for mercy would sound something like "Moo" to their advanced ears. It's just as well; any pleas for mercy would be hypocritical.
 

Bryan_ZZ

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 7, 2000
Messages
206
Kyle,

I am surprised to see this thread as well, but...

You can make a difference by not supporting the filmmakers and distribution companies that engage in animal cruelty.

My vegetarian family has a profound respect for all living things and we go out of our way to lift up other people and companies that feel the same way.


Bryan
 

DanHaya

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
294
You know, guys...although this may be a worthwhile discussion, why are you bringing this up here? This isn't the forum for this type of discussion...maybe the moderator can move it to where it belongs.

Furthermore, the American Humane Society has been monitoring films involving animals for many years now. And while I have no doubt that animals have been harmed in the past, there's nothing that can be done about that now. It's kinda like slavery...in that it's a dark page in the past, but it can't be undone so you have to move on.

I mean, are you all really going to boycott buying certain DVDs where animals were harmed? As William Shatner once said, "Get a life!" Those are the kinds of statements that give organizations like PETA a bad name. It serves a purpose, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
 

John_Berger

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
2,489
My vegetarian family has a profound respect for all living things
Does that include the once-living plants that you're consuming? Are you trying to imply that carnivores, like myself, have NO respect for life? That arrogant implication alone should be enough to lock this thread down REALLY tightly!

But to keep it somewhat on-topic, I actually have difficulty watching movies (or at least scenes) where blatant fears of the "cruelty to animal" crowd actually ruin a scene. One most obvious scenario is "Braveheart" when Wallace just smashed the face of the one "traitor" and jumped out into a lake with his horse. The jump was not very high and I doubt that if the water was deep enough a real horse would have been injured. However, the scene, made worse because it's in slow motion, clearly shows that the "horse" is plastic or some other material. It looks like they just took a horse from a carousel and dropped it into the water. I actually find that scene difficult to watch because they went TOO far to keep a the animal rights crowd at bay. But at least it doesn't ruin the entire movie for me.
 

Thomas T

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2001
Messages
4,584
Dick, I think you're overreacting. I've been on many a film set and believe me, animals usually get better treatment than the humans and I've seen the animal handler refuse to do certain "stunts" if the animal is in jeopardy in any way.
Remember these are trained animal actors. When you see a horse get punched in the face and knocked out in Blazing Saddles, it's not real. When you see a horse sweating and foaming at the mouth and falling down in exhaustion in Bite The Bullet, the horse is acting. These aren't animals just picked up off the farm, they're trained for movie work and it's all they do.
 

Mark_vdH

Screenwriter
Joined
May 9, 2001
Messages
1,035
A Software related post
:
Versions of the Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid DVD:
R1 - No Cuts
R2 - The documentary required cuts (6 seconds) to two shots showing a horse being tripped by the film maker pulling on wires attached to its front legs. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC guidelines which apply the tests of animal cruelty set out in the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act to video also.
R4 - Same master as R2 so the documentary is cut.
(Source: Dvd Compare)
 

Adam Lenhardt

Director
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,175
Location
Albany, NY
Those are the kinds of statements that give organizations like PETA a bad name.
PETA gave itself a bad name with campaigns like "Eat the whales" (since one whale should be roughly equal to n number of livestock). Personally, I like bacon. If a pig's gotta die so I can eat bacon, then the pig dies. The pig probably wouldn't exist if we as a population didn't like pork, ham, and bacon. That said, I respect those who care profoundly about animals and are vegetarians. As long as you're not trying to stop my right to eat bacon and other assorted meat products, we're cool.

And boycotting movies because animals were mistreated during production is fairly pointless. Boycotting them won't change what has already happened, and steps have already been taken to stop such mistreatment from happening again. A man died during the production of Ben Hur... will that stop you from watching that? A man died during the production of Spider-Man, will that stop you from watching that? The anwser, for me atleast, is no. To quote two cultural proverbs: Shit happens, and life goes on.
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
Adam, I also thought of the Crow as a great example of a human dieing while making it.

The blues were born from slavery. Slavery is horrible. Therefore, we should stop listening to the blues. Also cotton products are evil.
 

John Stone

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
680
A man died during the production of Ben Hur... will that stop you from watching that? A man died during the production of Spider-Man, will that stop you from watching that? The anwser, for me atleast, is no.
Those people died doing what they *choose* to do. The animals are *forced* to do what we want them to do. I don't see why this distinction is so difficult for some people to grasp.

We can justify and rationalize our behavior all we like; it doesn't change the fact that we would not want to be treated the way we treat animals. I don't think it would provide much solace knowing that our oppressors were several orders of a magnitude more intelligent than we are.
 

Patrick_S

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2000
Messages
3,304
A man died during the production of Ben Hur... will that stop you from watching that?
No one died during the filming the Ben Hur version staring Heston.
In fact I think it has been pointed out that no one died during the original's filming either.
 

Bryan_ZZ

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 7, 2000
Messages
206
(Stepping off soapbox)

This thread is a good thought provoker, but definitely out of place in software. Sorry to have thrown another veggie burger on the fire.

The great thing about HTF is the diversity of members and ideas.

Bryan
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,363
Messages
4,708,261
Members
141,248
Latest member
Nathan Bush