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The Return of a Man Called Horse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Return of a Man Called Horse
Return of a man called horse movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byIrvin Kershner
Written byJack DeWitt
Based onCharacters by
Dorothy M. Johnson
Produced byTerry Morse Jr.
StarringRichard Harris
Gale Sondergaard
Geoffrey Lewis
William Lucking
CinematographyOwen Roizman
Edited byMichael Kahn
Music byLaurence Rosenthal
Estudios Churubusco Azteca
Sandy Howard Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists (US)
Estudios Churubusco Azteca (Mexico)
Release date
  • June 28, 1976 (1976-06-28)
Running time
129 min.
CountriesUnited States
Budget$4 million[1]

The Return of a Man Called Horse is a 1976 Western film directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Jack DeWitt. It is a sequel to the 1970 film A Man Called Horse, in turn based on Dorothy M. Johnson’s short story of the same name, with Richard Harris reprises his role as Horse, a British aristocrat who has become a member of a tribe of Lakota Sioux. Other cast members include Gale Sondergaard, Geoffrey Lewis, and William Lucking.

Like its predecessor, the film is a Mexican-American co-production shot primarily on-location in Mexico. Like its predecessor, the film was largely a critical and financial success, but was criticized by some for rehashing earlier plot elements. It was followed by a sequel in 1983, Triumphs of a Man Called Horse.

Plot Summary

Trappers with government support force the Yellow Hands Sioux off their sacred land. The Indians retreat, but await supernatural punishment to descend on their usurpers. John Morgan, 8th Earl of Kildare, who had lived with the tribe for years and is known as Horse, leaves his English fiancée and estate and returns to America, where he discovers the Yellow Hand people have been largely massacred or put into slavery by the unscrupulous white traders and their Indian cohorts.

He finds the tribe dispirited, because of the actions of the trappers, and he begins to devise a strategy to overpower the trappers' stronghold, convincing the Indians to take direct action. Soon even the Indian women and boys are assigned tasks to aid the assault to regain their ancestral land.



Much of the film was shot in 1975 in Sonora, Mexico, with additional scenes filmed in Custer State Park in South Dakota and the United Kingdom.


The film received mixed reviews on its release. Roger Ebert, while not highly critical of the film, noted that the film attempted to take itself too seriously and paid unnecessary attention to detail. According to Ebert "The film reveals its basic white-chauvinist bias, but it certainly seems to take itself seriously. It's of average length, but paced like an epic. There are four main movements in the plot: Return, Reconciliation, Revenge and Rebirth. If this seems a little thin for a two-hour movie, believe me, it is, even with all that portentous music trying to make it seem momentous."[2]

Ebert also criticized the repetition in the film from the original A Man Called Horse. Ebert commented that "What gets me is that initiation rite, which is repeated in this film in such grim and bloody detail you'd think people didn't have enough of it the last time. First Morgan has his pectoral muscles pierced with knife blades. Then eagle's talons are drawn through the wounds and tied to leather thongs. Then he hangs by the thongs until sufficiently purified. You'd think one ceremony like that would do the trick, without any booster shots."[2]


The Return of a Man Called Horse was released to DVD by MGM Home Video on April 1, 2003 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD.


  1. ^ Returns of a Man Called Howard Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times 18 Jan 1976: m1.
  2. ^ a b Chicago Sun-Times review by Roger Ebert, August 19, 1976, Retrieved on July 7, 2008

External links

This page was last edited on 9 November 2021, at 04:47
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