This is my contribution to the Hoseathon hosted by "My Love of Old Hollywood." Giddyup over here and check out the rest of the line up.
BackgroundHorses, horses, horses. While my first human loves included Napoleon Solo and John Lennon, my first real loves were Man O'War, The Black Stallion and Flame, and Mr. Ed. Yes, I was one of those adolescent girls who went ga ga over equine splendor. Eventually it dawned on me that Mr. Ed was never going to take me to the prom, so I switched species (a little reluctantly, I might add).
|Hoping he'd call to ask me to the prom, but the call never came. :(|
The Film"The Tattooed Police Horse" (1964) was actually a Walt Disney "featurette" - a shorter film that played with the major release. Based upon my movie going history that year, it probably was paired with "The Three Lives of Tomasina, "A Tiger Walks," or "Emil and the Detectives." I doubt it was shown with either "The Moonspinners" or "Mary Poppins." Wow - I was all over Uncle Walt that year! It eventually found its way to the TV show "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" in 1967.
Our film tells the story of Jolly Roger, a well-bred trotter who was a late bloomer. He and another horse, Tartan, are raised together. Tartan is a good pupil who schools well and runs to win. Roger is a bit nervous and has a nasty habit of breaking into a gallop when unnerved by noises, crowds, or any other distraction. This, of course, disqualifies him from winning any trotting race. He is championed by Pam Churchill, who owns and works him out, but after too many disqualifications, Roger is sold to his trainer. Things don't work out there, either, and Roger soon finds himself running at country fairs and eventually sold at auction with a bunch of mules. How the mighty have fallen!
A Boston police captain with a good eye for horses purchases Roger and eventually makes a man of his horse. All of the sounds of city rattle the skittish Roger, but under the steadying hand of the captain, Roger soon becomes a crack police horse. On duty at a special trotting race, Roger's blood is stirred by the sights and sounds of the track and when an accident occurs, he doesn't gallop, but trots to the rescue at full throttle with his surprised captain on his back. Roger is soon reunited with Pam Churchill, who identifies Roger as a racehorse by the tattoo inside his upper lip. She now knows Roger is matured and ready to race. In the showdown race with old rival Tartan, Roger surges in the stretch and bests Tartan at the wire. His old police buddies give him a heartfelt send-off and Roger is at last ready for the big time.
The film stars a great cast of unknowns - Sandy Sanders, Charles Seel, William Hilliard and Shirley Skiles. I have only heard of narrator Keith Andes, who always lets you know what Roger is feeling.
It Was Really All About the HairIt was a grand story and, of course, everyone was rooting for Roger. Except me. You see, Tartan was this absolutely glamorous looking horse that I never forgot. For over 40 years I have held that horse in my imagination and have never seen one quite so beautiful. So, imagine the thrill when I got the DVD, popped it in and there he was! The gorgeous gray horse with the flowing white mane and tail! Since I can't find any photos from this movie on line, you'll have to use your imagination, but he looked something like these:
Because of that beautiful horse I have had a soft spot for that two-toned hair thing:
|Am I the only one that thought she was glamorous?|
|I never wanted the puppies to die, but I did understand......|
|I LOVE your hair, kitty|
|See what I mean?|
|I am probably the only person that liked this look on Christina Aguilera. |
All I could think of when I saw this "do" was the horse in the movie
(and I mean that in a good way).
And so, approximately 50 minutes in a movie theater over 40 years ago shaped my notion of what is beautiful and left me with a certain obsession. Living only in my memory (until now), I still felt the thrill of Roger winning that race, felt sad when he was sold with the mules, and stared in admiration at a beautiful horse. It was all as I remembered.