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Sylvester

4.4 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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(Apr 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

A young girl's unwavering faith in a battered horse takes them both to the prestige and honor of national competition in this touching, heroic drama. Melissa Gilbert makes a spirited film debut as Charlie Railsberg, a 16-year-old wrangler who recognizes the noble spirit of a wild horse she christens "Sylvester." Oscar(r) nominee Richard Farnsworth portrays John Foster, a hard-headed stockyard boss who takes Charlie and her two orphaned brothers into his home. Foster is convinced that Sylvester isworthless, but is proven wrong when Sylvester and Charlie become the odds-on favorite at the National Equestrian Trails. Before it's all over, Charlie falls in love and is faced with the opportunity-and decision-of a lifetime.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Schoeffling, Richard Farnsworth, Melissa Gilbert, Arliss Howard, Constance Towers
  • Directors: Tim Hunter
  • Producers: Martin Jurow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001BS3FW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sylvester" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I've always called this movite that...I went to see it in the theater when I was 5, and I fell in love with it. I'm a horse lover since birth, and I knew I wanted to do something with horses, but it was not until I saw this move that I found out what. I started taking classes and became an equestrian, I have my own "sylvester", and like for Charlie, he's my dream come true and one of the loves of my life. I'm 22 now and even 17 years after watching the movie for the first time, the footage of the cross country and the moolight training still make me want to cry. A great movie, specially for "all those little girls in love with horses" like myself. A good family movie too, I still find myself joking with my dad that he never thought that by taking me to the movies that afternoon that he was going to be spending so much on me and my horse some years after.
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Format: DVD
I saw this move about 5 years ago for the first time. I bought it as soon as I saw it on DVD. IT is such a great story and it's content as far as the eventing world goes is almost entirely accurate. It really should be rated more of a pg13 b/c of the language and some sexual content. It still is so worth buying.
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Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw it I fell in love with it. I love horses and the sport so this was great. One of the best horse films ever done and believe me I've seen them all! I also like Melissa Gilbert. I basically grew up watching "Little House On The Prairie." I was first introduced to the film by a friend who is a fellow horse lover. This is not only a movie for horse people. It has the ability to attract all sorts of viewers because it has other elements besides the equines. Cheers to the makers of this fabulous film!
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Format: DVD
Melissa Gilbert made her movie debut in this National Velvet-styled story of a determined girl and her jumping horse. Gilbert is a tough on the outside / soft on the inside teenage orphan who trains a worthless cowpony, transforming him into a classy 3-Day Eventer. With the help of her drunken mentor (Richard Farnsworth, the penultimate cowboy) they train the ghostly gray horse by moonlight, and dazzle everyone by daylight when the horse and his rider make it to the top show ranks. There are lots of sudsy subplots, but it just adds to the fun. I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and my horsy friends and I all saw it more than once. Not quite a classic, Sylvester is still a great one for horse lovers and definitely worth a spot in your DVD library.

Staci Layne Wilson
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Format: DVD
I bought this movie for my 2 horse loving daughters. While the story line is a good classic horse story- wild rodeo type horse becomes 3 day event champion, the rest of it is terrible. The language is horrible and should not be rated PG. Also there is a pretty graphic scene where one the stable hands tries to rape Charlie ( Melissa Gilbert). I am guessing that PG rating were different when this movie was made in the 80's, but I have never seen a PG movie quite like this. If you are looking for a wholesome family horse story, this is NOT your movie. I will be reselling this one.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My daughter loves horses. I couldn't tell you how many horse movies I've bought or rented for her. I had high-hopes for Sylvester because of the English riding and competition theme. Unfortunately, Sylvester suffers from three basic problems.

Near the beginning of the movie there is an unexpected rape attempt which makes for uncomfortable viewing with children. I could have done completely without the scene, and having to explain to my daughter why that girl was fighting with a man while he tried to take her shirt off in her truck.

The second problem is the acting. It's poor.

In order for a movie to be good, any movie, it has to suspend your disbelief. Sylvester does not. It's one unbelievable and/or unrealistic thing after another.

The only saving grace for the movie is the very cool riding scenes during the competition at the end of the movie. So use scene-select to skip over the scene in her pickup truck to keep it young-horse-lover appropriate and roll your eyes at the silly drama scenes.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
My children and I began watching this movie when they were young and into Three Day Eventing. It might be the only classic movie in which the sport of Eventing takes center stage. My kids watched it so often, they know it by heart! A few nights ago, I watched it with an adult woman, new to Eventing, and we had a great time discussing the staging, the corniness and predictability of the movie. Yet the horse scenes are unforgettable, at least for those of us who just happen to love horses!
This is not a little kids movie. There is vulgarity, sexuality, and one scene of sexual violence. It is pretty tame by teenage standards. Family values are strongly reinforced, along with responsibility and hard work.
I love this movie. Should have bought it, not rented it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this movie is a horse lover's dream. I saw it years ago on cable and really enjoyed it. rented it a few times and decided I wanted my own copy. Everyone did a great job, the acting was terrific, the story had real depth and the horse was a beauty. Everyone in the movie has growth and changes they went through as the young rider pursued her dreams with such tenacity. Its a keeper and worth seeing repeatedly just to see the behind the scenes look at a wonderful sport of horse and rider.
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