Horse (1965)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |  
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By turns hilarious and shocking, Horse was Andy Warhol's first "Western" (the other being Lonesome Cowboys, made two years later). It was also the first of his films to use a script, though the performers didn't see it before shooting began, reading their lines off of cue cards. Horse stars three professional sadomasochists who, for the first third of the film, act out an extremely campy Western plot centered around a huge -- and understandably nervous -- stallion that Warhol rented and brought to his Factory for the occasion. This action, filmed in front of the Factory elevators -- much to the surprise of guests who arrived during filming -- is interrupted by a half-hour long close-up of the horse's head. When it resumes, the performers, by now quite wasted, abandon the plot entirely for a round of sadomasochistic games so violent that screenwriter Ronald Tavel (who was holding the cue cards) can be heard off-screen pleading with Warhol to stop shooting. Allowing his movies to veer wildly off script and devolve into chaos became one of the hallmarks of Warhol's sound films.



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