The Mystery of the Falling Horses: Are they just clumsy, or what? | Street Jazz

The Mystery of the Falling Horses: Are they just clumsy, or what?

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C.F. Roberts and I have been reediting Santa Fe Trail, one of the most racist mainstream westerns ever made (and which also happens to be in the world of public domain) taking out Errol Flynn’s voice and replacing it with mine - much as we did for A William Shatner Christmas Carol - when an important question arose about all of those famous horse battles between the good guys and the bad guys:

Why are so many horses falling down, bringing their riders tumbling down with them?

“Oh,” says the Lazy Viewer, “it’s cuz they’ve been shot, stupid!”

Oh? Really?

Then why, pray tell, do the horses get right back up again, after depositing their now dead riders upon the ground? Or is this one of those things I’m just not supposed to notice, let alone ask?

I am grateful to the laws which mandate that no harm shall come to no animals during the filming of any motion picture; I just wish that no intellectual harm was coming to the viewers.

I also know that in what we call real life, horses suffered a great deal on the battle field. I’m not asking to see any of that animal carnage, but it really is sort of silly to see a horse fall down and get right back up again, once the rider has slipped from its saddle - none of those degrading scenes of men hanging from the stirrups, either, do we see, come to that.

Maybe, just so picky folk like me with too much free tome on their hands don’t notice so much in the future, they should cut the shot right after the horse and rider hit the ground?

It might look a little more realistic. Of course, then folks who don’t understand the magic of editing would mount petition drives, because they would convince themselves that the horses had really, somehow, been shot with all of that blank ammunition . . .

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