Hidalgo: Western Expansion, Man vs. Nature, and the Audacity to Believe You Can Do What You Set Your Mind to Do

Family Home Evening last night was a pretty straightforward affair.

Watch a Western movie.

keep-calm-and-do-your-homework-262Casi’s English teacher gave a homework assignment to the class requiring them to watch a western movie, or a movie that clearly depicted western themes. (Tough homework, huh?) We looked over the list with her and saw movies like True GritButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Shane. Then, further down the list, we found Hidalgo. Generally, I don’t strong-arm my opinions or ideas on others, but Casi was clearly not very excited about this assignment. So when Mei Guo, Arctic Boy, and I saw Hidalgo, we just told her. This one. You want to watch this one. There was some debate among us as to whether it was actually a western, with the conclusion being: conflict between Natives and American Army/Settlers, Western Expansion, Man vs. Nature, and the audacity of believing you can do whatever you set your mind to, especially if you don’t worry much about what other people think. Add to all this the fact that the teacher put it on the list, the debate ended pretty quickly.

First, refreshments.

After a quick run for “refreshments” of milkshakes and french fries, we settled in to watch the movie. Casi loved it. She didn’t realize until it was over that it was based on a true story. I did a little checking afterward and found that there was a great deal of creative licence taken, but I still love the show. One fact though, that was sacrificed for the sake of having a dramatic finish, was that Hidalgo and Frank Hopkins actually crossed the finish line 33 hours, yes, you read that right, hours, before the next finisher. Wow. If you want to read a little more about the legendary man and horse, click here to read the Story of Frank Hopkins.

If you haven’t seen this movie, check out the preview and then borrow, rent, or buy it. I guarantee that it will be worth your time.

winner-winner, veggie dinner 🙂


  1. I loved that movie! I remember seeing it in the theater with my grandpa and it was a wonderful experience. It’s just a great story and I think it probably fit the bill perfectly for many reasons (most of which you listed). I mostly love it for the story of Hopkins and Hidalgo. I hear that Viggo Mortenson bought that horse by the end of the film there was such a connection – at least that’s what I hear.


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