In 1890, a down-and-out cowboy and his horse travel to Arabia to compete in a deadly cross desert horse race.


Joe Johnston


John Fusco
2,813 ( 570)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Frank Hopkins
Zuleikha Robinson ... Jazira
Omar Sharif ... Sheikh Riyadh
Louise Lombard ... Lady Anne Davenport
Adam Alexi-Malle ... Aziz
Saïd Taghmaoui ... Prince Bin Al Reeh
Silas Carson ... Katib
Harsh Nayyar ... Yusef
J.K. Simmons ... Buffalo Bill Cody
Adoni Maropis ... Sakr
Victor Talmadge Victor Talmadge ... Rau Rasmussen
Peter Mensah ... Jaffa
Joshua Wolf Coleman ... The Kurd
Franky Mwangi Franky Mwangi ... Slave Boy
Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman ... Chief Eagle Horn (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)


Held yearly for centuries, the Ocean of Fire--a 3,000 mile survival race across the Arabian desert--was a challenge restricted to the finest Arabian horses ever bred, the purest and noblest lines, owned by the greatest royal families. In 1890, a wealthy sheik invited an American, Frank T. Hopkins, and his horse to enter the race for the first time. During the course of his career, Hopkins was a cowboy and dispatch rider for the U.S. cavalry--and had once been billed as the greatest rider the West had ever known. The Sheik puts his claim to the test, pitting the American cowboy and his mustang, Hidalgo, against the world's greatest Arabian horses and Bedouin riders--some of whom are determined to prevent a foreigner from finishing the race. For Frank, the Ocean of Fire becomes not only a matter of pride and honor, but a race for his very survival as he and his horse attempt the impossible. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The True Story Of A Man Who Went Halfway Around The World To Find Himself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and some mild innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Viggo Mortensen purchased the horse who played the title character (T.J.) after this film was completed. See more »


Hopkins is repeatedly depicted as fanning his pistol. This is a wildly inaccurate method and was never used except for show. See more »


[first lines]
Frank T. Hopkins: [to Hidalgo] C'mon little brother. Checkout time. Yeah.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film begins with a "Touchstone Pictures presents" credit, and the logo only appears at the end. See more »


Wyoming Days
Written by Karl King (uncredited)
Performed by The Americus Brass Band
See more »

User Reviews

"Mister, you can say anything you want about me... I'm gonna have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way."
9 September 2017 | by DeuceWild_77See all my reviews

Directed by Joe Johnston, the man behind the excellent & severely underrated "The Rocketeer" ('91) which was also a period piece, "Hidalgo" is a biographical adventure film loosely based on the life of Frank T. Hopkins and his mustang, Hidalgo that competed on a long distance Middle Eastern race called itself "Ocean of Fire", against the best pure- blooded Arabian horses.

The real life Hopkins and his alleged exploits were most likely fictional / tall stories told by a 'fabulator' man that once was a professional horseman performing with the Ringling Brothers Circus. Even if it wasn't all true, the Hopkins & Hidalgo's daring adventure across the scorching desert of Arabia was the perfect scenario for an adventure / drama film shot on location, with a sense of the classic swashbuckling style, long gone from the Entertainment Industry of nowadays.

It looks & feels something like a lighthearted / toned-down version of such classics as "Lawrence of Arabia" meets "Dances with Wolves" with an Indiana Jones urge to it, some of the funny gags & action sequences are even based (or more like a tribute) to the world's most famous archaeologist.

Smartly, the director Johnston keeps the CGI effects to a minimum, only when was strictly necessary (like the sandstorm who reminds a lot the less-inspired Stephen Sommers' blockbuster, "The Mummy") which enhanced the old school filmmaking factor.

"Hidalgo" is an entertaining, upbeat & reckless ride that moves at nicely pace, competent photographed by Shelly Johnson with great sets & costume design and great performances all around from Viggo, still in the heroic & manly, but sensitive role of an Aragorn type of character to the legendary & sorely missed, Omar Sharif in a gracious & witty role as the Sheikh Riyadh. Malcolm McDowell, C. Thomas Howell & J.K. Simmons also provided interesting cameos, but above them all, T.J. as the beautiful mustang Hidalgo, deserves the highest praise.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 359 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



USA | Morocco


English | Arabic | Sioux

Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidalgo See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,829,435, 7 March 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed