Buck | Chicago Reader


Possibly the touchy-feeliest cowboy movie ever made, this documentary by Cindy Meehl profiles Buck Brannaman, a master horseman whose gentle touch has made him a popular clinician around the country. The irony of Brannaman's approach to horses is that, as a child, he was brutally abused by his widowed father, who turned Buck and his brother into a rope-trick act that played the rodeo circuit and even got on TV. "When something is scared for its life, I understand that," Brannaman explains. Beyond this, Meehl hasn't got much of a story, apart from Brannaman's brief experience as a consultant on Robert Redford's movie The Horse Whisperer, but the trainer is certainly a memorable character, a laconic Gary Cooper type who, at one point, quotes Oprah Winfrey. A late episode at one of his clinics, in which he tries to handle a crazy and violent stud and admonishes its tearfully remorseful owner, adds some much-needed drama and drives home the film's other theme, that the owner is more often the problem than the horse.



  • Cindy Meehl


  • Cindy Meehl
  • Julie Goldman

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