• 1991movierewind

Episode #63: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken

Listen to Episode 63 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.


SUMMARY - Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is inspired by the true story of Sonora Webster (played by Gabrielle Anwar), a young woman who lost her parents and left her life in small town Georgia to join a traveling roadshow. With aspirations of being a diving girl, she works hard to convince her boss that she is ready for the dangerous stunt as well as the fame.


Screenplay by Matt Williams and Oley Sassone; Directed by Steve Miner, and released on May 24, 1991.


FILM DISCUSSION

We start off by talking about the fact that this is a strange topic to base a movie around. Horse diving happened, but even with the true story of Sonora, it's unusual.

The movie moves a fast pace. Within just a few minutes Sonora has left her aunt's house after getting in trouble at school.

At the carnival where she hopes to get hired as a horse diving girl, she meets Dr. Carver's son who is about to get beaten up for cheating at cards. For some reason that's appealing to her.

Since this is a true story, some of the situations that look like set-ups don't pay off the way you might assume.

There are very few people working for Dr. Carver's road show and we appreciated how he acted like a father figure to Sonora.

The romantic story was a little off-putting since Al is an adult and Sonora is still a young teen.

The movie touches on some of the Great Depression era happenings and troubles, but its limited considering we're talking about a Disney kid's movie about horses.

We appreciated Gabrielle Anwar's nuanced performance that mixed the spry innocence with a strong resolve and independence.

One of the problems is that events in the movie just happen out of nowhere.

Also the long shots of the horse diving are comically bad.

Which is a shame because the lead-up shot of the horses running up the ramp are great

Still, its an enjoyable journey, even if you may not be the target demographic for this film.

Awards Talk: None to speak of.


TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE

This week we don't have any true crime but Nikki provides some more information about the true story of the movie. Here are some more resources regarding Sonora, Dr. Carver, and the history of diving horses.

https://www.amusingplanet.com/2017/11/the-diving-horses-of-atlantic-city.html

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/04/nyregion/the-horse-was-in-charge.html

http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/192-Jumper-and-Diving-Horse.htm


If you're inclined, here are a couple of videos as well for additional background.

Moving on to TV, here's what you may have been watching.

http://www.tvtango.com/listings/1991/05/24

The lesser known show for this episode is D.E.A. - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098775/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_1


Here are your Billboard Bottom 5 Songs for the week of May 25, 1991

100. All The Man That I Need - Whitney Houston

99. Backyard - Pebbles (feat Salt-n-Pepa)

98. Another Like My Lover - Jasmine Guy

97. Heartbreak Station - Cinderella

96. Uncle Tom’s Cabin -Warrant



RANKINGS & RATINGS

Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 2 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - We're sort of on the fence about this question, but yeah we probably would. Even though certain plot points just happen out of nowhere, Sonora's journey was enjoyable to watch thanks to a strong performance by Anwar and others.


If you want to watch Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, as of this recording in May 2022, it’s available on Disney+, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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