Harry & Snowman [Blu-ray]
(Marty Deleyer, Harry Deleyer, Harriet Deleyer, Willy Deleyer, Andre Deleyer, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2015) 2021 / FilmRise)
Overview: Harry & Snowman is the Cinderella story of Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer and his friendship with Snowman, an Amish plow horse he rescued off a truck bound for the glue factory.
Within 2 years they would win the Triple Crown of show jumping, beating the nations blue bloods and traveling the world as media darlings.
And thus, their meeting at a horse auction began a friendship that would last a lifetime.
Blu-ray Verdict: As the movie opens, we are at Nederland Farm and present-day Harry DeLeyer, now well into his eighties, is teaching someone (his granddaughter?) about show jumping, while also telling stories.
Of all the horses I’ve had, Snowman was the most special, he says. We then go back in time to his early years, growing up in the Netherlands and dealing with WWII at age 13.
When he gets the opportunity to move to the US after WWII, he grabs it with both hands.
This is yet another fascinating documentary from writer-director Ron Davis, founder of Docutainment Films. Here Davis brings us the almost fairy tale-sounding, but ultimately true story of a guy who immigrated to this country with nothing but the shirt on his back, and turned his love for horses into a career.
The big break occurs when at an auction in Pennsylvania, he rescues this white horse for $80 when the horse was about to depart for the glue factory.
That horse, Snowman, would become one of the most accomplished show jumping horses ever. But let’s be clear: it’s about much more than the competition, as impressive as that is.
This is about the deep bond, yes love, and companionship between man and horse. It seems as though there wasn’t a thing that Snowman wouldn’t do for Harry or Harry’s family (8 kids).
Ah yes, the kids, they are also interviewed extensively and from there we can appreciate their collective awe for their dad, but also the huge shadow cast by dad’s accomplishments.
The documentary has an unbelievable amount of footage from the fifties and sixties and that makes the movie also a time machine to that era.
For my money, Harry & Snowman is a mighty fine documentary that flies by in no time and I highly recommend it to anyone with a heart and soul as open, or as big as either of these two main characters. [PA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.