'Wild Hearts' a nice ride for the kids


May 24, 1991|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

"Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken'' is a rarity, a G-rated film. You won't find many of those around, and you won't find a film that children will take to as quickly as they did at the recent advance screenings.

The kids actually cheered when the leading character, a young woman, dove into a tank of water atop a horse. They also cheered when the young man, who loves the girl, proposed to her.

Parents won't be as ecstatic as their children, but they'll be able to sit through the film. It's what the industry used to refer as "programmers," B movies made for showing on double bills. The plots were simple, and audiences went home pleased.

''Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken'' is based on the experiences of Sonora Webster, who left her Georgia farm to become a stunt diver. Blinded early in life, she continued to dive for 11 more years, in Atlantic City at the Steel Pier, where she and the horses she rode were among the main attractions.

Myrtle beach, S.C., subs for a 1932 Atlantic City, but it looks like the real thing. The horses don't really dive 40 feet in the film. Actually, they are diving only 10 feet and are made to look as though they are diving from a much higher platform. You can't tell. Gabrielle Anwar is Sonora Webster, Cliff Robertson is the owner of the stunt show for which Sonora works, and Michael Schoeffling plays his son, who falls in love with Sonora.

You do have to put up with repeated falls as the girl trains for her PTC job, but the rest of the film is easy enough, and looks as though it is actually taking place 59 years ago.

''Wild Horses Can't Be Broken'' was directed by Steve Miner, who did two of the ''Friday the 13th'' movies. He is one of the few horror-film directors who have made it to non-horror movies.

''Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken'' is showing at local theaters. Take the kids, the younger ones.

''Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken''

** A Georgia farm girl becomes a rider with a stunt show.

CAST: Gabrielle Anwar, Michael Schoeffling, Cliff Robertson, Dylan Kussman

DIRECTOR: Steve Miner


RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

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