Bringing the Text to Life
They used to be thought of as cheap and disposable props on the movie sets of Hollywood. As films were being made, horses were shocked, tripped, and forced to run into trenches. Wires were strung around their ankles and then yanked by the rider to make the horse fall on cue. Six horses were killed during the filming of Ben-Hur in 1924, and 25 were killed or euthanized during The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1935.
Then an organization called “American Humane” got into the act and opened a Hollywood office to enforce standards for the protection of animals.
In the ’50s, they sponsored the first of an annual PATSY award ceremony. The “Performing Animal Top Star of the Year” is the Academy Award for animal actors. Francis the Mule was the first PATSY winner in 1951, and later winners included Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger and Arnold the Pig from “Green Acres.” In 1973, an Animal Actor’s Hall of Fame was...