Is Steven Spielberg’s War Horse Gayer Than Tintin?

We haven’t seen Steven Spielberg’s War Horse—we’re not interested in any equestrian movie that’s not Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. But IndieWire’s Peter Knegt did, and he thinks its gay as blazes. (Spoiler alert)!

First and foremost, War Horse himself—or “Joey,” as lead character Albert names him—s totally gay.  You can simply read this in the textbook way that he’s “different” from the other horses (mainly because no one thinks he could “plow a field,” ha) but it also gets a lot more literal.When Joey gets sent off to war, the British soldiers segregate him next to another horse —whose name I forget but it was most definitely masculine —who the soldiers also deem “different” and “unruly.” It’s only a matter of time before Joey and his next door neighbour are getting intimate, kissing each other, snuggling, and clearly growing to find an affectionate and mutual dependence on one another. They go through quite a lot: Being captured by the Germans (more on that later), spending some time with a over-the-top French girl (and on that as well), and they always have to fight not to be separated.

In the most dramatic display of Joey’s love for his mate (who given his fur is often simply referred to in an oddly racialized way as the “black horse”), he stops the Germans from making “black horse” the lead on a working line that he likely won’t be able to handle because of his poor health condition. Joey does so by making it clear he’s the right horse for the job instead, thus saving his lover’s life but threatening his own.

And it’s not just the horses that act swishy.

When the horses are captured by the Germans toward the beginning of the film, the soldiers hand them over to two young brothers. The relationship between the brothers is perhaps the most oddly homoerotic element of the entire film. They are intensely touchy, and the older brother’s protection of his younger brother is presented in an excessive, romantic manner.  When the army threatens to separate the two brothers, the older one risks both their lives to keep them together.  “We must stay together,” he announces like something out of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation.

But what about the movie’s central love story?

Then of course there’s Albert (played by the dreamy Jeremy Irvine)…  Joey’s true love.  Albert is obsessed with Joey from the moment they meet at he beginning of the film… So much so that it seems the entire British army is well aware of Albert’s long lost love. (Please, please note: I don’t intend to be drawing a correlation between homosexuality and beastiality here, I assure you. Because Joey is so humanized, Albert’s relationship with him feels the same way).

Well, so long as they draw the line there, we guess it’s okay.

Much has been made about the infamous Spielberg “face.” That look of profound realization— eyes wide and mouth slightly agape—that appears on so many of the acclaimed director’s characters. Does that include long, equestrian mugs as well?



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  • marco

    Ummmmm… what?

  • Sinu'

    Well it certainly sounds different than National Velvet!

  • Lefty

    His next film’s about Lincoln – gayest President ever!

  • MikeE

    I can see the inevitable porn version of this on store shelves in NO time!

    “War Whores”

  • Kurt

    Lefty, actually Lincoln was bisexual not gay, the gayest president ever was James Buchanan.

  • CBRad

    @Kurt: I don’t think Lincoln was even bi. I think he was hetero. Buchanan was definitely gay, though. (My opinion only).

  • Olive Austin

    Ann Coulter has a cameo appearance as a rival mare.

    (Just say “Nay”, War Horse!)

  • Otis Criblecoblis

    Jeremy Irvine is a-dor-a-ble!

  • CBRad

    @Otis Criblecoblis: He sure is ! Except for the voice, he reminds me of the hot straight boys I see at my gym in Brooklyn.

  • Joe

    This is stupid. The comment about the brothers is the worst… some guys are really close with their brothers, especially back then. Add a life and death situation into an already close, fraternal relationship and of course it’s going to come off somewhat “excessive”.

    Albert gets so attatched to the horse cause he’s a loner with it seems like one or two friends, an only child, and doesn’t have iPad, iPhone, TV, Kardashains and Jersey Shore to distract him from what a magnificent creature the horse is.

    The films a bit cheesy and schmaltzy in a way that only Spielberg can do. But its beautiful and touching and I didn’t read anything gay into it at all.

    The author needs to get a life.

  • Red Meat

    The brothers analysis is pretty homophobic and I have not seen the film (I’ll watch it on HBO sometime next year)

  • jason

    Doesn’t Peter Knegt have better things to do with his time? Maybe he could edit a magazine on barnyard animals.

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