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Into the West (1992)

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.

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, (additional writing)
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5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kathleen
Ciarán Fitzgerald ...
Rúaidhrí Conroy ...
Tito (as Ruaidhrí Conroy)
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Tracker
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Barreller
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Hartnett
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Superintendant O'Mara
Anita Reeves ...
Ray McBride ...
...
Morrissey
Stuart Dannell-Foran ...
Conor Murphy (as Stuart Dannell)
Becca Hollinshead ...
Birdy Murphy
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Storyline

A gigantic white stallion appears mysteriously to a Traveller grandfather and his two grandsons in an Irish slum. Since, puzzlingly, the younger of the two boys is the only individual who can control the horse, ownership falls to him and his older brother by default. There being no place for the animal, they move him into the apartment of their alcoholic Traveller father. Police remove him and, in a shady deal, he ends up under control of a wealthy, underhanded horse breeder. The boys manage to retrieve him and escape on his back, but the stallion seems to have his own travelling agenda. Written by JH

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Taglines:

Ein magisches Abenteuer beginnt ... (A magical Adventure begins ...) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das weiße Zauberpferd  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,790,801 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has a veritable Irish All-Star cast: This is the only time Gabriel Byrne, David Kelly, Colm Meaney and Brendan Gleeson appear together in the same film. See more »

Goofs

Neither boy can read until Tito gets a few lessons, but still can't read well, however, when the horse takes them to their mother's grave Ossie, who has not learned to read, asks (at around 1h 18 mins) "Why is my birthday on that stone?" See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Papa Reilly: [to his son] You're not gonna return there again. You have to pretend your name is Murphy. Do you understand that?
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Connections

Featured in Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Lifetime
Music and Lyrics by Ciarán Brennan and Paul Brennan
Performed by Clannad
Courtesy of BMG Records (UK) Limited
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User Reviews

Mysticism, social realism, and action/adventure
5 May 2003 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

"There are certain things that happen in the film that cannot happen unless the world is a very odd, mysterious, and unreal sort of place" - Mike Newell

In Mike Newell's 1992 film Into the West, Papa Reilly (Gabriel Byrne), a member of a little known Irish sect of Celtic origin called "The Travellers", is left to care for his two young boys after his wife Mary dies giving birth. Like Gypsies, the Travellers live a nomadic life, existing on the fringes of society. Buoyed by a humorous script by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot), the film aims for light family entertainment but the depiction of the poor and outcast and a shift toward the spiritual takes it into deeper territory.

The film opens in a dark place. Reilly, depressed by the death of his wife, has left the Travellers and is drinking heavily and living on welfare in Dublin. When the boys, 8-year old Ossie (Ciaran Fitzgerald) and his protective brother, 12-year old Tito (Ruaidhri Conroy), are given a snow-white horse as a gift from their grandfather (David Kelly), however, the film turns a corner. Grandpa Ward tells the boys about the Celtic legend of a white horse named Tir na nOg who comes from the land of eternal youth, and they promptly call their horse Tir na nOg. When the authorities find the horse in the Reilly's flat, however, they sell him to a wealthy businessman who discovers that the horse is a graceful jumper and primes him for competition.

The boys, who have formed a strange bond with their horse, promptly steal him back. Escaping from the pursuit of villainous authorities, they embark on a journey to the west of Ireland, following the white horse wherever he takes them. Pretending they are cowboys, the boys get into one harrowing escapade after another, at one time taking the horse to a movie theatre and another time for an elevator ride in an apartment building. Redeemed by a relationship with a "fellow Traveller", Kathleen (Byrne's real-life wife Ellen Barkin), Reilly realizes he must save both himself and his children and takes off after them with renewed vigor.

Into the West is a spirited adventure combining mysticism, social realism, and action/adventure that transcends the facile Disney genre and has a universal appeal. If you think you are too jaded by modern society to enjoy this film, just close your eyes and remember how the world looked when you were 12-years old. Now climb onto your magic horse and go where it goes.


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