Phar Lap

Synopsis: Phar Lap, the legendary Australian racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford. Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford's faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock. American-promoter Dave Davis arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his "long shot" status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapses and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was "murdered" by the gambling interests.
Director(s): Simon Wincer
Production: Roadshow Entertainment
  4 wins & 5 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.3
Metacritic:
55
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
PG
Year:
1983
107 min
10 Views

Yeah, you know what's

coming up, don't ya?

Hang on a minute.

Hang on. I've gotta mix it up.

That's it.

Yeah.

You're a good fella today.

You love all that stuff

now, don't ya?

Crowds and cheering.

The bigger, the better, eh?

What's the matter?

You're sick. Bill!

Cashy, get in here! Bobby's sick!

What did he eat yesterday?

Just his usual feed and a bit of grass.

- Alfalfa?

- Yes.

Was it wet?

Look, it's not colic.

It's something worse.

I know what I'm doing.

Ooh, matey.

That's the boy.

Bill! Cashy! Where the hell are ya?!

- What's the matter?

- He's gettin' worse, Bill.

Mate, come on.

We'd better get the vet at Tanforan.

Keep him moving.

OK. Come on.

Come on. You've gotta keep going.

Come on.

Oh, Bobby, you can't!

Please, get up!

Please!

Please, make him get up.

Oh, Bobby.

No!

No, you can't die. Please.

Please, no.

Bobby.

/ The wonder horse

/ Known on every course

/ From Australia to... /

This is the Don Lee

Radio Network.

Today the turf world is in tears.

Phar Lap, whom some say

is the greatest...

This is KMTR, Los Angeles.

Governor Rolph of California

has appealed to all

the relevant agencies

to mobilise their forces

in a joint effort

to seek out the cause

of Phar Lap's death.

Mr. Wendell Vincent, chief of

Western Food and Drug Administration,

says that arsenic trioxide was found

in the horse's liver and lungs.

As his autopsy revealed

no such evidence of...

Dr. T.R. Creel, an American vet,

told the press

that he didn't die of colic.

They all suddenly

got together

and issued a joint statement

saying, in effect,

they don't know how he died

and probably never will.

However, Dr. Nielsen,

Phar Lap's Australian veterinarian

declared he had no such doubts.

The horse died of an irritant poison.

...and I know what it means when

the lining has been eaten away.

I'd like to have come to

some other conclusion,

but I'm afraid it's impossible.

Please stand for 30 seconds,

as a tribute to the great racehorse,

Phar Lap, who died last week.

This is KMTR, Los Angeles.

Mr. Telford.

Mr. Telford, can you have a few

words with me about the tragedy?

Leave me alone.

Do you think he was poisoned?

What does it matter? He's dead.

Well, why is it, do you think,

that there's been this incredible

reaction to Phar Lap's death?

After all, he was just a horse.

He wasn't JUST a horse.

He was the best.

He's a bit skinny, isn't he, Harry?

He's lost condition

on the voyage over.

Harry, he's only come

from New Zealand.

Well, he's just a colt.

Why's he got all those warts?

Well, you don't buy horses

just for their looks.

I wonder what your

American friend's going to say.

This has gotta be a joke.

Harry, you got the real horse hidden

around the back somewhere, right?

He's got a good, big frame.

Go on.

This is not a horse, Harry.

This is a cross between

a sheepdog and a kangaroo.

You told me this thing

was gonna be a champion, huh?

Well, he will be, Mr. Davis.

He's got Carbine on both sides

of his bloodline.

Greatest horse of them all.

Greatest of them all.

I paid 168 for this, Harry, sight

unseen from a goddamn catalogue.

Now, I'll tell you the truth -

I don't really care who he's got

in his family tree.

Why the hell didn't you write

across to New Zealand,

ask somebody to look at him for you?

Well, he'll fill out.

He will, huh? Harry!

Some guy told me his sire

and dam were hopeless -

didn't win a race between them.

- Night Raid out of...

- Entreaty.

Entreaty.

Did not win a single race,

either one of them.

Well, he's got good blood

further back.

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David Williamson

David Keith Williamson, AO (born 24 February 1942) is one of Australia's best-known dramatists and playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"Phar Lap" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 13 Dec. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/phar_lap_15833>.

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