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Actors: Richard Crenna, David Carradine, Chris Olivero, Patrick David, Gary Bisig Horseback Journey Changes Lives • A grandfather (Richard Crenna) has his hands full when his Los Angeles-based angry teenage grandson is, against the boy's wishes, sent to stay with him on his Colorado Ranch. The boy's insistence on being defiant leads to his desecration of the American flag, to the public humiliation of his grandfather - which prompts the patriarch to grant the boy his wish - to be returned to Los Angeles. The catch is they will travel together from Colorado to L.A. -- ON HORSEBACK like old-time cowboys! The result is a bittersweet journey in life lessons set against a beautiful, rustic backdrop of country. It becomes a journey that changes both of their lives.
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Taking the grandson in for the summer seems like a nice way to make good with his daughter but it doesn't take long for the quiet, conservative, horse riding cowboy Grandfather to clash with his troubled, spoiled, teen age grandson. Exhausting his patience, he decides to take the boy and a trip back home - by horseback, hoping the long trip from COL to CA will give them a chance to connect and grow close. Along the way they meet up with some of grandfather's old friends, and slowly the youngster starts to appreciate his grand dad, especially given the level of respect and esteem everyone seems to hold him in. It doesn't happen over night, but kid does slowly start to come around, admitting some of the problems he has relating to his mom and dad as his grandfather relates why he and the boy's mom spent so long on the outs.
Later in the film the drama kicks up a bit when we realize Crenna's character is dying (something he has known all along but hidden from everyone else), but by then the audience is hooked waiting to see if he can truly get through to his good hearted, but immature grandson before they finish their trip (if he can stay healthy enough to make it).
The supporting cast is strong but Crenna is the most engaging, this is a movie that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. There is some humor thrown in periodically to keep the film from getting too dark or down, overall a highly recommended family film and a definite "Must Have" for any Richard Crenna fan.
Maxwell and Decker, the two mentoring elders for the spoiled teen are my favorite characters--because they both have steel-coated convictions but gentle hearts. Decker's son was a nice touch because due to being a youngling he found it a bit easier to relate to the 'city kid'.
I loved the culture contrast, the horses, and the emphasis on heart this film exemplifies. Clean fun.