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Sylvester

By Valerie J. Nelson

Cinderella is a cowgirl in Sylvester, a hard-luck story with a happy ending if there ever was one. Melissa Gilbert is the tough-talking teenage orphan cowpoke whose natural talent and determination transform her into a prize-winning equestrian. Soapy subplots abound: She has a drunken reluctant mentor (Richard Farnsworth, in a fine turn), fights the court to raise her two younger brothers in a rundown trailer, and protests too much against a would-be sweetheart (Michael Schoeffling, the resident hunk of Sixteen Candles). Yet there is poetry in the scenes of Gilbert riding Sylvester through the hills and magical footage of Farnsworth secretly training the horse by moonlight. Even the trite dialogue ("Did you kill their dreams like you're killing mine?") fails to do in the modern fairy tale. It's a pretty darn imperfect world Gilbert and friends inhabit, which in its own plodding way makes it seem like real life, despite the unlikely journey from jeans to jodhpurs.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Tim Hunter

Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Melissa Gilbert, Michael Schoeffling, Constance Towers, Pete Kowanko, Arliss Howard, James Gammon

Released: March 15, 1985

Availability: DVD VHS


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