- May 22, 1999
- Real Name
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?