• Publication date: December 22, 2009

An American Cowboy�s Arabian Misadventure A Race That Will Change His Life Forever

Director Joe Johnston�s directorial debut, 1989�s �Honey, I Shrunk the Kids� spawned a number of subsequent successes including �The Rocketeer� (1991), �October Sky� (1999), and �Jurassic Park III� (2001). His most recent film, �Hidalgo� (2004), like his past works, is a family-oriented comedy that delivers both suspense and laughs for all ages.

Director Joe Johnston�s directorial debut, 1989�s �Honey, I Shrunk the Kids� spawned a number of subsequent successes including �The Rocketeer� (1991), �October Sky� (1999), and �Jurassic Park III� (2001). His most recent film, �Hidalgo� (2004), like his past works, is a family-oriented comedy that delivers both suspense and laughs for all ages.

Based on the tales of Frank Hopkins, depicted in the picture by Viggo Mortensen of �Lord of the Rings� (2001; 2002; 2003) notoriety, �Hidalgo� follows an award-winning horse racer from the United States to the deserts of Arabia, where he will compete in a seemingly impossible race from Yemen to Syria. Once in Arabia, however, he is laughed at by the race�s participants � all of whom posses beautiful thoroughbred horses of the highest pedigree. Frank�s ordinary, wild mustang is almost certain to die in the land�s high temperature and difficult terrain. Nonetheless the American rider takes on the challenge, even if it means risking his own life.

Semi-retired Egyptian actor Omar Sharif depicts Sheikh Riyadh, one of Hopkins� primary rivals in the race and the man responsible for inviting him to the competition. The Sheikh�s nephew, Prince Bin Al Reeh (Sa�d Taghmaoui) will be a key opponent for the American who will go to any length to thwart his victory.

Of course, the film would not be complete without a touch of romance, which is delivered in the form of the Sheikh�s naughty daughter, Jazira (Zuleikha Robinson). Destined to wed her cousin, the prince, Jazira desperately seeks Frank�s assistance in escaping to another land. Meanwhile, her conversations with Hopkins prompt him to finally accept his dual Native American and Europe heritage, and the ramifications that entails. Equally important, however, is that Frank will eventually confront a shameful incident from his past, and attempt to reconcile it.

Regardless of whether or not Frank is victorious one thing is certain: he will leave Arabia a changed man, with a new vision.

�Hidalgo� is rated PG-13 for adventure violence and some mild innuendo. Its runtime is 136 minutes.