Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story

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Still of Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning in Dreamer: Inspired by a True StoryStill of Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning in Dreamer: Inspired by a True StoryStill of Dakota Fanning in Dreamer: Inspired by a True StoryDreamer: Inspired by a True StoryStill of Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning in Dreamer: Inspired by a True StoryStill of Kurt Russell in Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story

Cale Crane catalyzes the rescue and rehabilitation of Sonador, a race horse with a broken leg.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.7/10 (5,944 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: John Gatins

Stars: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Oded Fehr

Ben Crane believes that a severely injured racehorse deserves another chance. He and his daughter Cale adopt the horse (in fact is a mare)and save it of being sacrificed by the owner. The arrival of the mare to Crane's farm, will be the perfect opportunity for both father and daughter to reconstruct their lost familiar bond. "Soñador" (Dreamer in English), the renamed mare, despite its broken leg, maybe could have another chance to return to the racecourse, with the help of Cale, Ben, and his father, Pop.

Kurt Russell - Ben Crane
Dakota Fanning - Cale Crane
Kris Kristofferson - Pop Crane
Elisabeth Shue - Lily
David Morse - Palmer
Freddy Rodríguez - Manolin
Luis Guzmán - Balon
Oded Fehr - Prince Sadir
Ken Howard - Bill Ford
Holmes Osborne - Doc Fleming
Antonio Badrani - Prince Tariq (as Antonio Albadran)
John Moyer - Security Officer
Kayren Butler - Teacher
Tommy Barnes - Short Steward
Frank Hoyt Taylor - Chairman


Official Website: Dreamworks | Official site [Russia] |

Release Date: 21 October 2005

Filming Locations: Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,178,233 (USA) (23 October 2005) (2007 Screens)

Gross: $33,022,286 (USA) (4 December 2005)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Toronto International Film Festival)

Did You Know?

When Cale and Ben go to Ashford Stud to check out the studs, the stallions they are naming, such as Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Johannesburg and Grand Slam, are real horses who actually stand at Ashford. However, the actual stallions were not used in filming. Stand-ins were placed in their stalls instead.

Continuity: In the shot right before the horses go into the gate for the Breeder's Cup Classic, the camera pans out to reveal a field of horses that are obviously not in the big race. They are wearing white saddlecloths instead of Breeder's Cup purple ones and are part of a real race field at Keeneland Race Track where the scene was filmed.

[first lines]
Cale Crane: There used to be horses in that barn. At least, that's what my Grandfather says. We're probably the only horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky, that doesn't have one horse. Not one.

User Review

"Inspired by" and Inspiring


As a long time horse racing fan and a former horse loving little girl, this movie had to go on my must see list. I would definitely recommend it for all families - and the adults may be surprised how much they enjoy it also. There is one scary scene for some young kids when the filly breaks down early in the movie - but this scene is part of the commercials that already have been on TV, so it should not be too much of a shock. As a racing fan, I found a few points that stretched credibility, but this is a "dream" after all, and they do point out that putting a filly or mare in the Breeder's Cup Classic has hardly ever been done, much less expecting she can win enough of the purse to justify the high entry fee needed. Even Azeri, who was a horse of the year, ran 5th when she took on male horses in the Classic. Sonador could have run in the Breeder's Cup Distaff instead, paid less for the entry fees, and still have astounded everyone with a win (when Mariah's Storm, the "inspired by" horse ran in the Breeder's Cup Distaff after her injury she did not win). Over all the movie does a pretty good job of representing the factual background (children can't generally be licensed as race horse owners, but the plot certainly works much better this way!).

I do think that if they are going to make "Inspired by a true story" part of the title, they should have provided information about this some where - perhaps as a post script at the end - but they do not. You have to find interviews with the screen writer to learn that it was inspired by Mariah's Storm who broke her leg as a 2 year old when she was expected to be a favorite in the 1993 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, but later returned to racing and won several graded stakes races. She has gone on to be the dam of several stakes winners, including Giants Causeway, who is one of the studs they admire at Ashmore Stud when looking for a horse to breed Sonadore to. Mariah's Storm is 14 years old now and is still having babies. I suspect that on their trip to the breeding farm we may be seeing the actual retired race horses, as the studs shown (Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Johannesburg, Grand Slam) are all actually owned by Coolmore Lexington (formerly Ashmore Stud) in Kentucky. While inspired by Mariah's Storm, the movie is not really based on her. In fact, at one point, the characters talk about Mariah's Storm, when saying it may be possible for Sonador to race again after her broken leg, just like Mariah's Storm had. Grand Slam (the horse they considered breeding Sonador to) also made a comeback from an injury he suffered running in the 1997 Breeder's Cup Juvenile.


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