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Horse Whisperer

Horse Whisperer

Touchstone pictures proudly presents the romantic drama, "The Horse Whisperer." Directed by and starring Academy Award winner Robert Redford, Academy Award nominee Kristen Scott Thomas, Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest, Sam Neill and presenting Scarlett Johansson.

"The Horse Whisperer" is a western romance about a skilled horse trainer said to be able to reach into the soul of horses. Tom Booker, who is played by Redford, helps soothe the pained relationship between a mother and her injured daughter while treating their troubled horse. Montana is the stage for the film and the story, itself.

The movie is based on a novel by British author Nicholas Evans. Evans research the book by visiting a number of Montana guest ranches and Montana area horse trainers. His research took him to ranches in the Pryor Mountain and Rocky Mountain Front areas mentioned in his book. Redford and crew filmed the movie in southern Montana at the base of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountain Ranges.

P>The majority of the story takes place in Montana and the selection of the location for the fictitious Double Divide Ranch was one of the most crucial decisions for the filmmakers to make. Producers Robert Redford and Patrick Markey knew the Montana area well from their production of "A River Runs Through It." The nature of the area supports both some of the finest trout fishing in the country, and at the same time, acres of horse and cattle ranches.

The principal location chosen was a working cattle ranch, located about an hour from Livingston, Montana, where the cast and crew were based. While the daily life of the ranch continued throughout production, each day it seemed as though a small occupying army moved in with trucks, lights, trailers, a large catering tent, and a lot of city folk unfamiliar yet fascinated by the way of life they saw unfolding around them.

There is something about the combination of the drama of scale from the plains and the mountains that is unique to Montana," begins production designer Jon Hutman while discussing the visual aspects of production design and the choice of locations. "For the opening of the film, we wanted to synthesize the East Coast environment into something very spare and structured and minimal, in order to very succinctly define where Annie and Grace were journeying from. But as they made the transition, we were looking for a life-altering sense of space that would be initially overwhelming to these characters. The environment in Montana wasn't just a backdrop for the story, it embodied the power of Tom Booker and also the power of the land and place which is also what the story is about."

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