A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is a coming-of-age story about a determined and persistent young orphan. It might be inspiring for young viewers and teach them a bit about the Great Depression. Sonora falls quite a bit while training and bloodies her nose, and a major injury later in the film may be tough to take for younger viewers. But on the whole, the film is filled with positive messages of self-reliance and pursuing your dreams.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In WILD HEARTS CAN'T BE BROKEN, Sonora Webster (Gabrielle Anwar) runs away from her aunt's home in Great Depression-era Waycross, Georgia, before being sent into foster care, deciding she will be a "diving girl" in a traveling carnival. She must persuade the owner of the carnival, the stubborn Dr. W.F. Carver (Cliff Robertson) that she has what it takes. Through tenacity, hard work, and the tireless assistance of a card shark named Al (Michael Schoeffling), Sonora masters the art of hopping on a horse as it runs past and off a high diving board into a tub of water below. Sonora encounters many obstacles along the way, but will stop at nothing to fulfill her dream of being a performer in Atlantic City.
Is it any good?
Despite the formulaic story, this film stands out from the pack through its evocation of the Depression era and through its representation of traveling carnival life through those difficult times.
Though characters essentially stick to archetypes of the "comeback kid" form, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken does take some unanticipated twists in the storyline, and for those in the family who love horses, this film should prove to be an enjoyable and inspiring experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Sonora a positive role model in Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. How does she make her dream of being a "diving girl" a reality, even when everyone around her tells her she can't do it?
How accurately do you think the film reflects the realities of the Great Depression? How can you find out more about real life during the Depression?
- In theaters: May 24, 1991
- On DVD or streaming: January 17, 2006
- Cast: Cliff Robertson, Gabrielle Anwar, Michael Schoeffling
- Director: Steve Miner
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: June 25, 2021
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