Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The real horse whisperer
When Jimmy Stewart came back from the war, he ended up doing westerns instead of his usual fare in front of the camera. In these westerns he rode one of the studio's string horses, almost exclusively, a chestnut arabian, quarter horse mix named Pie. In the movie "The Far Country" Jimmy's character rode with a bell on his saddle horn and the bad guys knew this. The directer wanted to do a scene where Jimmy's horse would walk down the street alone, to dupe the bad guys, as they were waiting to ambush him. Now, Pie had not been trained, or worked with in any manner to do this scene, but Jimmy Stewart told the director, I'll tell Pie what to do, and he will do it. Sure enough, Jimmy whispered to Pie what they wanted him to do for the scene, and it was shot on the first take. If you have never seen that part of the movie try to look it up. Pie didn't just plod down the street, he put on a performance. Jimmy always said Pie liked to act, and knew when the cameras were rolling.
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