The Littlest Horse Thieves


Drama / Family

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Alastair Sim Photo
Alastair Sim as Lord Harrogate
Geraldine McEwan Photo
Geraldine McEwan as Miss Coutt
Prunella Scales Photo
Prunella Scales as Mrs. Sandman
Jeremy Bulloch Photo
Jeremy Bulloch as Ginger
956.55 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 15 / 97

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nostobbi8 / 10

A special movie for me

This movie has a special place for me. As well as being a real tearjerker (if you love horses) all of the pit scenes were filmed at the end of my garden! My mum was an extra as was my grandfather and his brother in law and even his goat! Even 30 years on the "pit tip" were it was filmed is still there, although a little over grown. When I watch this film I can clearly remember the scenes where the children plot to free the ponies. The top of the hill were they lay spying was a grass covered ramp at the end of my paddock.

Other films were also made in and on the same road.. "The Price of Coal" and "The Gamekeeper" by Barry Heines. Yes the village I lived in and where my parent still live was in much demand in the 1970'sw

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Gallant little pony

This British film from the Disney Studios is a real sleeper. Although Alastair Sim in what would turn out to be the last theatrically released film of his career is top billed, his is really a supporting role. I doubt most on this side of the pond would know any of the cast members other than Sim, but the real stars are three kids and a Shetland pony, one of many ponies that is used in the Yorkshire coal mines in the beginning years of the last century.

In the mines the little ponies are used to take the coal out but Sim has hired Peter Barkworth as a new manager and he wants to bring in automatic conveyor machines to take the coal out. What happens to the faithful ponies, most likely sent to the slaughterhouse for pet food.

That does not sit well with Barkworth's daughter Chloe Franks and her new friends Andrew Harrison and Benjie Bolgar who are miner's kids. The three steal the ponies. I won't say more but the ponies prove their worth in the end.

This Disney film raises some real adult labor management issues and also issues about the ethical treatment of animals. Among the other issues that are raised is the ponies develop eye trouble and even blindness from exposure to coal dust. It's what happens to the kid's favorite pony. And I guarantee when you see the sacrifice this pony makes on behalf of its human masters you will not have a dry eye for days.

This film should be better known. It's for kids and kids of all ages. And the review is dedicated to one Amber Small, the most dedicated animal activist I know.

Reviewed by boblipton7 / 10

What a Clean Coal Mine It Must Be!

Alastair Sim, in his last screen role, tasks the manager of his colliery with making it profitable. The proposed solution is to install machines to move the coal about and retire the pit ponies -- and by 'retire' is meant 'send them to the knackers.' Three of the children in the neighborhood work out a scheme to save them.

There's some inconsistency in the writing in this script, particularly in the way Sim's character behaves; it's surprising given the writers: Burt Kennedy and Rosemary Ann Sisson. I also never saw children who could muck about in coal pits and remain so clean as the three the movie centers on, not to mention pit ponies. Nonetheless, the performances are excellence, and Chloe Franks gives a particularly lively and engaging performance. Good location shooting in Yorkshire adds to the pleasures of the film. All in all, it's a strong Disney movie, with milder humor and some actual fear and sadness under the direction of Charles Jarrott.

Equines of many types were used in the mines. In the US, it was mostly mules, but in Britain, it was ponies, who could move through the confined spaces more easily. the first recorded use of ponies was in Durham about 1750. In 1887 the British government began to regulate their use, and the Pit Ponies' Protection Society (later the National Equine Defense League) was founded in 1907. Ponies' use peaked in 1913, with an estimated 70,000 working underground. Use declined with rising mechanization, and the last known pit pony, "Robbie" retired from a Welsh mine in 1999. The last known living pit pony was Tony who died in 2011 aged 40 at the Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter.

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