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Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: The life of the 1930s Australian champion race horse who dies mysteriously in California.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    Tom Burlinson is very effective as the shy stable-boy who becomes devoted to the courageous horse. Martin Vaughan is impressive as the grimly determined trainer who leases the horse in the first place, as is Celia de Burgh, luminous as his loyal but neglected wife. Ron Leibman practically walks away with the picture as Davis, the smooth American horseowner, and Judy Morris is quietly effective as his naive, talkative wife.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    88
    Although the film plays a little too heavily on this patriotic theme, its simple boy-and-his-horse story is beautifully effective.
  3. It tells its story crisply, and it doesn't hesitate to exlore the seamy side - i.e., the money side - of the racing game, along with the usual stuff about galloping to glory.
  4. The movie Phar Lap is as much of a crowd pleaser as the champion Australian race horse for whom it is named. In a gently rousing style that should appeal in equal measure to adults and children.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Fraser
    25
    Phar Lap is another Australian horsy movie starring an American actor, Ron Leibman (Norma Rae), but this time the American's performance is the only redeeming feature in this otherwise tedious, slow-moving Down-Under tale about a fast-moving horse that should have been named Rocky. [20 Jul 1984]
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    25
    Phar Lap wastes its brilliant potential through embarrassingly inept acting, a cloying soundtrack, stereotyped characters and pedestrian direction. [13 Jul 1984]

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