In this revisionist Western an Army captain with a violent past agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief back to his homeland. 

  • Starring: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike
  • Director(s): Scott Cooper
  • Producer(s): Scott Cooper, Ken Kao, John Lesher
  • Screenwriter(s): Scott Cooper, Donald E. Stewart
  • Distributor: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Movin on Livestock
  • Release Date: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

All horseback riders were stunt riders or experienced actors who were skilled at riding, mounting and dismounting. All running/galloping scenes were well choreographed, and actors used caution while on and near animals. The horse(s) rearing was a trained behavior. The horses were specially trained “falling horses” and “lay down horses” that fell on cue onto a soft landing area. When teams of horses pulled wagons or carriages, the drivers were experienced and teams of horses were familiar with each other and accustomed to the pulling action. Whenever horses were seen tied to posts/fences, they were attached to lead ropes tied to posts.

In the scene where we see six horsemen ride towards a cabin, Prior to beginning filming Production held a "cowboy camp" for the actors which was run by the animal coordinator and wranglers to train and assess the riding ability of the actors and to familiarize them with the horses, equipment and wagons.  Those individuals who would be driving wagons were given additional training with team horses and wagons.  The principal actors were given additional ridding lessons after filming began.

In the scene when the Comanches ride after the woman down the ridge, the path they rode on was cleared of loose rocks and the stunt riders/wranglers walked the path in rehearsal. Two wranglers were off-camera to recover horses when the riders jumped off. When finished the horses were wrapped for the day. After shooting the wranglers rode the horses back to their night corrals where they were fed and watered. The horses were allowed to rest for 5-10 minutes before they were ridden to the start point again. 

In the scene where the Comanche horsemen ride away from the barn on fire, there were fire trucks and firemen on hand. The horses were located a safe distance from the fire.

In the scene where we see a man on horseback lasso a man trying to run away with a couple of Calvary riders watching from the wings, the horses backed up, pivoted and moved forward, much like a horse would do with cattle. The soldiers lassoing the Indian were actually stuntmen. There were also wranglers for each horse on set. Once watered and rested the horses were ridden by the wranglers back to the corrals a mile away. The man who was dragged off was also a stuntman.

In the scene where the line of soldiers with their prisoners on horseback crossed a river,

a few days prior to filming this scene the wrangler had the cast cross the river on horseback to make sure everything was safe. For the test there were also water safety personnel on hand. All the actors were instructed how to ride the horses across the river.

When the line of soldiers are attacked by Comanches the scene was shot with a combination of stunt riders and actors. The scene was shot over a few days and was rehearsed multiple times. The men who get shot and fall off their horses were trained stuntmen.

In the scene where the Calvary rides into Fort Winslow with their prisoners and there are horses and carriages in the background, the horses were trailered to set from their night quarters. The horses were then placed in their positions on set. The horses that were ridden by the actors were walked to set by the wranglers who assisted the actors to mount their horses and positioned them for the scene.  As background there was a surrey pulled by a single horse, a buck board pulled by a mule team, two burros led by an extra. All background actors were instructed on how to ride or drive the horses by the wranglers.

In the scene where the line of soldiers ride through the forest in the rain, the set consisted of a dirt path through the trees. There were three "rain" bars set up on cranes and several fog machines with tubes to create a misty atmosphere.  The temperature of the "rain" was 100'F coming out of the pipes. The wranglers assisted the actors in getting mounted on their horses and positioning them in a line. When ready to film the "rain" was turned on and the actors proceeded at a walk to the B mark (25-30yds). When finished the wranglers rode or ponied the horses back to the trailers (60yds)

In the scene where the actor playing the prisoner jumps on the horse and rides into the forest in the rain, a stunt rider did this scene.