“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” reviewed by Jennifer Anne Messing.
Drama/Adventure/Romance. Rated G. Recommended for family viewing, with kids of all ages. Check your favorite local and online movie rental stores or the public library for availability.
“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” is a one hour, twenty-eight minute, 1991 Walt Disney Pictures movie release, in color, directed by Steve Miner, starring Gabrielle Anwar, Michael Schoeffling, Cliff Robertson, Dylan Kussman and Kathleen York. The film is set in the early 1930s and is based on the true life story of Sonora Webster (“A Girl and Five Brave Horses,” DoubleDay Books, 1961), a young orphan girl who lived an extraordinary life and pursued her dreams with determination and persistence.
Sonora Webster’s life was not an easy one. Her parents died while she was very young and Sonora and her younger brother were sent to live with their Aunt Helen. Sonora’s (Gabrielle Anwar’s) unfortunate circumstances made it difficult for her either to fit in with other children at school or to excel in academics as she grew into a young teen. Deep inside, however, Sonora knew she could do something significant with her life.
At that time, Sonora saw an ad in the newspaper that sought a young girl for a horse-diving act in a circus. The possibility of travel and a paycheck excited Sonora and she answered the ad. When Sonora first met her prospective employer, Doctor Carver (Cliff Robertson), he made it clear to her that she did not have what it takes to be a diving girl. But Sonora told him she would not stop applying until he gave her a job. Finally, Doctor Carver relented and gave Sonora a job as a stable hand.
Though cleaning stables and shoveling horse manure was not the job Sonora had in mind, she did all her work faithfully. In the meantime, Sonora carefully observed the star of Doctor Carver’s circus act, Marie (Kathleen York), while she was at work—learning how Marie mounted a horse in motion and skillfully maintained her balance on the horse when it dove from forty feet in the air into a pool of water. Sonora knew without a doubt that she would do anything and would work hard to train to become a diving girl—if only Doctor Carver would give her a chance!
Doctor Carver’s son, Al (Michael Schoeffling) took an interest in Sonora and soon a special friendship developed between them. Al sensed that Sonora had the talent and persistence needed to become a competent diving girl. Secretly, Al took time to train Sonora in horse-riding. When Marie suffered an unfortunate accident that left her unable to dive for six weeks, Sonora’s break came at last.
The first time Sonora successfully mounted the horse and dove into the water, she knew she had found her destiny. In the weeks and months ahead, Sonora became a skilled diving girl and later experienced a rewarding career as a circus performer, but her path was not without setbacks and personal difficulties. Adults and kids of all ages will enjoy viewing the outcome of Sonora’s life and career as a diving girl.
“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” is an excellent adventure/drama film that can encourage young viewers to search their heart, determine what they are destined to be and go after their dreams with single-mindedness and purpose. It may inspire children and teens to dream big and find creative ways to overcome any obstacles to achieving their life goal. In Ephesians 3:20 (New American Standard Bible), we are reminded, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”
All of the lead and supporting players give fine acting performances, especially Gabrielle Anwar (Sonora) and Cliff Robertson (Doctor Carver). The cinematography is pleasing and is enhanced by a melodic and upbeat musical score. “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” is highly recommended for family viewing.
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“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” makes a great addition to your family movie collection!
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“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” in DVD format can be rented at Movie Madness, 4320 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon, 97215, tel. 503-234-4363.
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Author, poet, speaker and singer Jennifer Anne F. Messing of Portland, Oregon, is a wife, and mother of three children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and a diploma in Journalism and Short Story Writing. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has over 180 articles, movie reviews, and poems published in 60 magazines and books including “The Christian Journal,” “Evangel,” “LIVE,” “Standard,” “Bible Advocate,” “Christian Fiction Online” and “Nudges from God.” Her poetry gift book, “MORNING’S PROMISE: Poetic Moments in His Presence” is now available in trade paperback. CLICK HERE TO ORDER, or find more information on her website: www.JenniferAnneMessing.com.
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