Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This movie set in 1890 this amazing tale about a man and his mustang horse, Hildago, takes us on an incredible journey from America's Wild West all the way across the Sahara desert. Frank T Hopkins is half Indian and white. He is mail delivery person who delivers dispatches to army post. The United States government was nervous after containing the Indians on this reservation. The Indians were doing the Ghost Dance, a dance that calls the spirits of past Indians and ask for help in a current situation. When Frank gets to Wound Knee Reservation he sees the Indians are doing the dance and mentions it to the captain. He is riding off and hears approximately a quarter mile back gunshots. He turns and realizes that the dispatch he delivered contained the orders to slaughter the Indians on the reservations. When he gets there he can only look in disbelief at his people are being gunned down and then he realizes that he brought the orders that resulted in the massacre Wounded Knee Creek of the reservation of Indians. He then becomes an alcoholic drowning in the bottle trying to run away from the memory of the slaughter. He also becomes the star of Buffalo Bill Cody's (J K Simmons) Wild West Show where Frank's horse is touted as the greatest endurance racer in the world. He hears of the race across the Sahara from Buffalo Bill. An old Indian Chief tells him that he must go on this race of endurance across the Sahara Desert. Not to win the money a $100,000 purse but to find himself, to become the Indian of his mother or the White Man of his father or die as a no account person in Wild Bill’s Wild West Show.

Frank has blue eyes and blonde hair. The race is truly a race of endurance and self seeking. He is about to enter a race of thoroughbreds horses, with a Spanish Mustang ”Hildago” which is a mut of a horse with different breeds intermingled. The mustang is bred to be tough and fast though. His main rivals are two, the Sheik’s horse Al Atttal, a horse among horses. Also a white woman's horse who if wins will have the rights of breeding with Al Attal. She is unscrupulous and has hired the Sheik's nephew, a no account thief to sabotage the race. The nephew visits the Sheik to ask to ride the horse and is refused by the Sheik which leads to the kidnapping of the Sheik's daughter. Now prior to the kidnapping Frank is the underdog of the race because he is riding a mustang and not a thorough bred. The desert race goes through four countries for a total of 1500 miles through Syria, Iraq, Iran and ending in Egypt at the ocean. The daughter of the Sheik has been promised to the winner of the race. Hopefully, the prince who is riding Al Attal if he wins. She is caught in the tent of Frank, and even though Frank’s intentions were honorable, he did not touch the Sheiks daughter. She was giving him dates, camel butter to mix with the water for the kidneys of the Frank and the mustang during the race through the dessert. She tells him of the wind / sand storms, that the locust are a gift from Allah as food and not a curse, and how much her father is addicted the stories of cowboy west of America. But she is found in the tent of an infidel, she has dishonored her father and herself. Frank is set to be castrated until he remembers to mention stories of the west her father is so fond of and saves himself “ Wild Bill” , “The Okay Corral”. These stories buy him time and save his life.

He is sent to get the daughter from the kidnapping nephew in exchange for his testes. The story ends with him about to kill his horse when the horses kidneys start going out and horses nose starts to bleed. Then he sees what he thinks is a spirit and remembers the ghost dance then chants and gets help from the spirits. He takes the saddle off the horse and rides it bare back across the finish line to the ocean. Frank accepts that he is an Indian and lives a peacefully thereafter. The United States in away to further disable the Indian was to kill all the mustangs if the so they could not be bought back by the Indians. But the price is so high they are too much for a poor Indian to buy. After Frank comes back for Egypt he with the purse buys all the mustangs. He delivers another dispatch to the captain on duty. Who replies “You got another dispatch for me.” This dispatch read something like this “ Frank has purchased all the mustang s you are to let him do as he pleases with them.” Frank release all of the mustangs out of the gate back onto the plains along with his horse “Hildago” .

Because of the truth racism in these films I am not surprised that these movies did not do well at the box office, and also equally surprised that “Hildago” and “Quigley Down Under” were even allowed to be made.

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