Projections - Movie Reviews

Casey's Shadow

Casey's Shadow is no National Velvet or Smokey but it does deal with a boy and a horse.  Kids will enjoy the film so will most parents.

Casey lives with his father, Walter Matthau, and two brothers on a broken down farm in Louisiana.  The family trains horses for a living.  Casey's Shadow is born to an unimpressive mother but his father was a champion racer.

Director Martin Ritt tastefully and beautifully shows the birth of Casey's Shadow, his first step and his romping as a young colt through the fields of the Louisiana farm.

The film, adopted from a short story, is of Casey's family and the potential Casey's Shadow has to win races and make money for the family.

Alexis Smith has not been in a western for a long time; but in Shadow, she's back on a horse attempting to buy the horse before he races.  The price rises all the way up to a half million dollars before the big race.  Does Casey's Shadow win the big race?  Does the family get big money for the horse?

The answers are affected by the father's relationship with his boys, and his need to be a winner just once.  "To be in the record books", as he says.

The father's pride in his oldest son's shrewd deal with Alexis Smith and his forgiveness of Casey's racing Shadow too soon, are developed and expressed well by Matthau.

Location scenes at races and fairs in Louisiana are excellent.  They give a sense of being part of the dual language and culture, English and French, of that southern state.

Michael Hershewe, as little Casey, turns in a fine, believable performance and adds much to the film.  Kids should enjoy the film.  The language is a little strong at some points and the film lags at times, but all in all, Casey's Shadow is 0K.

Casey's Shadow

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