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A Jake Jacobson from Westwood One, MovieJake
A cinematic bouquet to the world, Ron Davis’ joyous documentary about an incredible man and his unlikely partnership with an unwanted gelding wouldn’t seem to be fodder for a wonderful experience. HARRY & SNOWMAN is. Now near 90-years-young and still jumping horses, the epic life of Dutch-born Henry deLeyer is almost too rich, too decent and too episodic to believe, but that is what makes this man and this film so precious. Young Harry, saving hundreds of Jewish lives from hiding them in a urine drain on his farm in Holland as the Nazis pursue. Getting sponsorship by a Canadian war victims Mother and honing his gift for horse-jumping. By sheer luck, paying $80 for an unwanted Amish plow horse on its way, literally, to his death and the relationship that would eventually lead to three world jumping championships at Madison Square Garden in the late 1950’s and 60’s. To Director Davis’ credit, this his third feature after a couple of beauty pageant docs, proves the third time is a charm indeed as the effusive charm that Mr. deLeyer exudes is infectious and his simple decency is well rewarded with a life well lived. Audiences of all ages will find a rousing tribute in this splendid nags to riches tale and at its sole is as unpretentious as its subject. A love story between a man and his horse will move and excite the most devoted cynic. HARRY @ SNOWMAN simply has to be seen to be embraced. Ride it.