Legend of the White Horse
Legend of the White Horse (original title: Biały smok) is a 1987 Polish-American adventure children's film directed by Jerzy Domaradzki and Janusz Morgenstern, based on the magic realism novel White Horse, Dark Dragon by Robert C. Fleet, who also wrote the screenplay. It was produced by Alina Szpak for CBS Theatrical Films, Legend Productions & Film Polski. The film is also a political satire. It was released on July 13, 1987.
The action takes place in a fictional Central European country, Karistan, where the beautiful Alta lives with her young blind daughter Jewel. Jewel has a friend in the form of an enigmatic white horse. Soon they meet an American visitor named Jim Martin, who has been sent to Karistan to prove that a new investment is not going to harm the environment in Karistan.
- Christopher Lloyd ... Jim Martin
- Stephan Szpak-Fleet ... Steve Martin
- Dee Wallace ... Alta
- Allison Balson ... Jewel
- Soon-Tek Oh ... Tai Ching
- Kazimierz Kaczor ... The Superintendent
- Christopher Stone ... Doc
- Archie Lee Simpson ... Silver
- Stephan Szpak-Fleet ... Steve Martin (as Stephan)
- Luke Askew ... Frank Brown
- Zbigniew Lesien ... Peter
- Stanislaw Wolski ... Johann
- Zdzislaw Sosnierz ... Georgi
- Andrzej Blumenfeld ... Bartan
- Ryszard Radwanski
- Andrzej Szopa
- Agata Piszczorowicz
- Ann Carol Vanex
- Robert C. Fleet
- Andrzej Krakowski
- Janina Januszkiewicz ... Stewardess
The novel White Horse, Dark Dragon is described by The Science Fiction Chronicle as "an interesting juxtaposition of fantasy and modern politics", and has become something of a cult due to its dry political humor satirizing late-era Communism and U.S. corporate boardrooms - mixed with action, historical romance and nuanced characters. The movie takes a simpler tack, perhaps reflective of Hollywood mind-think: good guys vs. bad guys. It was a decision that makes for an uneasy blend of target marketing vs. reality, since the result was a movie that at least one reviewer, Michael Medved, thought was "too intense for children."
As Biały smok (White Dragon), it was the second highest grossing theatrical feature in Poland when it was released in 1987. It was renamed "Legend of the white horse" by CBS in the U.S., but the CBS Theatrical Films division was closed down in late 1986 and the feature languished in tax write-off obscurity until it was released to video by CBS/Fox Video a few years later.
The book was held up for publication for contractual reasons, but finally published by Putnam/Berkley/Ace in 1993.
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