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Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen Films

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Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horses

Viggo Mortensen as Green in Fresh Horses

Release: 1988

Director: David Anspaugh
Writer(s): Larry Ketron

Runtime: 105 min

MCAA Rating: PG-13


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Fresh Horses Cast and Crew

Viggo Mortensen: Green

Other leading roles:
Molly Ringwald as Jewel
Andrew McCarthy as Matt Larkin
Patti D'Arbanville as Jean
Ben Stiller as Tipton

Fresh Horses Synopsis

A Cincinnati college student breaks off his engagement to his wealthy fiancee after he falls in love with a backwoods Kentucky girl (Molly Ringwald) he meets at a party. She claims to be 20 years old, but he learns that she's actually just 16 and already married. Viggo Mortensen plays the low-life husband.

Fresh Horses Brief Review

The film is confusing and boring, and most of the acting was not exactly inspiring, but I found Viggo's bit to be very interesting.

Jewel (Molly Ringwald) is a country girl, a bit of a hick, who seems to be a victim. A well-bred young fellow, Matt (Andrew McCarthy), develops a crush on her lush body and decides he has to rescue her. Slowly he discovers that she has lied to him about her age and that she is in fact married to a man named Green (though she says they never had sex). She claims to have been fondled (maybe molested?) by her stepfather and later by Green's father, but frankly by the end of the movie it's not clear whether you can believe anything she says. You know she's lying sometimes, maybe most of the time, you just don't know when.

Green is rumored to be a criminal, gun runner, maybe a murderer. So Matt is convinced that Green (Viggo) is bad news for Jewel, and gets papers drawn up to have their marriage annulled. FINALLY we get to the only interesting parts of the movie.

First, Green comes into a cafe and sits at the counter, asking for coffee. He looks tired and maybe a bit sad, and looks toward the camera as he removes his hat. It is an oddly vulnerable look for this man who is supposed to be so devilish. (See the video clip below.)

His only other scene is just over 5 minutes long, near the end of the film. Matt decides to play the hero and confront Green in his home, which by the way has a stockpile of rifles and canned water. Survivalist? Dealer? Who knows? Here Green comes across as more cynical, a bit sinister but not seriously threatening.

What's interesting is that when they start talking about Jewel, Green suddenly seems to be one of the more honest people in the film. He sees right through Matt's well-intentioned but condescending care for Jewel. "What are you doing here? You're going to be the prince, is that it? You're going to carry her off on a big white horse?" Well, no, Matt, doesn't really want her as his wife, after all she's barely educated and doesn't fit in with his friends.

Green replies skeptically, almost as a father might. "Well, I think she's expecting you to give her everything. Haven't you let her believe that you would?" When Matt hedges that question as well, Green concludes, "You're too good for her, is that it? I ain't good enough, but you're too f*cking good."

The rest of the film is a waste of time but I found myself really enjoying the scene with this Green character. I'll confess, it may be just because it was Viggo, and maybe his performance looked good because he was surrounded by less than stellar work. Colleen at Celluloid Haven says that it was after Sean Penn saw Mortensen as Green in this film that he decided to audition him for the role of Frank Roberts in The Indian Runner. (See link to her review, below.) There is a clear resemblance between Green and Frank.

Fresh Horses Movie Resources

Fresh Horses Movie Trailer - Movie trailer in WMF format.
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh HorsesVal's Screencaps: Fresh Horses - Forty screen captures of Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horses. Mostly full-screen, some cropped. Larger than the average screencap, good clarity.
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh HorsesViggoMakesMeHormonalAsHell Gallery :: Fresh Horses - Photo album contains 62 large format (1024x768) images of Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horses. Very good detail once they are lightened and contrast increased. (1-Jun-05: site is temporarily unavailable, be patient)

Fresh Horses Video Clips

Viggo Mortensen is undoubtedly the best thing about Fresh Horses. I'm particularly fond of the first clip, where he simply sits and removes his hat. But his later lines, delivered with an edgy cynicism, are also worth watching. It is said that it was this role that led Sean Penn to consider him for the role of Frank in Indian Runner.

Note that fh-11 is the complete scene from Green's house, combining footage from fh-03 to fh-08 plus a bunch of bits that glue them together.

Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-01: Sitting at the counter  «16-Nov-04» - Green (Viggo Mortensen) enters a small diner and sits at the counter, asking for coffee. He looks tired and maybe a bit sad, and looks toward the camera as he removes his hat. The stills capture his face better, but there is something very graceful about his gesture with the hat.
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-03: Wash your mouth  «16-Nov-04» - After Matt criticizes Green's soap carvings and destroys one of them, Green (Viggo Mortensen) says with a slight edge of anger, "Maybe I ought to wash your mouth out with it."
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'05, 500KB)
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-04: Be the prince?  «16-Nov-04» - Green (Viggo Mortensen) cynically questions Matt, asking what he thinks he's doing. "You're going to be the prince, is that it? You're going to carry her off on a big white horse?"
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'06, 608KB)
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-05: Too good for her  «16-Nov-04» - After Matt (Andrew McCarthy) says he wants to get Jewel away from Green (Viggo Mortensen), even though he doesn't want her himself, Green laughs. "But you're too good for her, is that it? I ain't good enough, but you're too f*cking good."
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'12, 1.3MB)
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-06: Bag of tricks  «16-Nov-04» - Green (Viggo Mortensen) says of Jewel (Molly Ringwald), "She's one bag of tricks, isn't she? Between you and me, reach in, don't know what you're gonna get."
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'07, 560KB)
Viggo Mortensen in Fresh Horsesfh-08: Black magic  «16-Nov-04» - Green (Viggo Mortensen) describes one night when he came home to Jewel (Molly Ringwald). "She had some kind of black magic going on. Had them g*ddamn cards spread all over the floor. Candles burning all over the house. Frightening scene. Honey, what was it you was trying to find in the cards that night? Your future?"
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'24, 2.1MB)
fh-11: Complete scene at Green's house  «14-Aug-05» - This 5-minute clip is the complete scene between Viggo Mortensen as Green, Andrew McCarthy as Matt Larkin and Molly Ringwald as Jewel. It includes the footage from all the short clips fh-03 to fh-08 above ... and by the way please note it's 30MB in size.
Quicktime video 320x240 (05'16, 30.4MB)

Fresh Horses Photo Gallery

Did some of the screencaps ourselves. Thanks to the Viggo Makes Me Hormonal as Hell for giving us permission to use the others!