Netflix’s My Heroes Were Cowboys (2021) Review: Perfect for Western Fans

My Heroes Were Cowboys is a short documentary-style film that was recently released on Netflix. It briefly covers the life of Robin Wiltshire, a horse trainer for the films. It is 23 minutes long and directed by Tyler Greco. The short film briefly covers Robin’s childhood, why he decided to be a horse trainer, and how his horses made it big in the industry.

Trailer for My Heroes Were Cowboys

The documentary-style short film makes use of interview techniques, live footage, old photographs, and creative visualizations to format the short film. It also features Robin’s family- his wife Kate Wiltshire and his son Patrick Wiltshire, who help him with the horses.

Netflix describes it as:

Robin Wiltshire, an immigrant inspired by the iconography of the Hollywood western, finds meaning and redemption through the art of horse training. My Heroes Were Cowboys, directed by Tyler Greco and produced by Barry Linen Motion Pictures & Dress Code, releases globally on Netflix September 16, 2021.

Via the Netflix Official Site’

– My Heroes Were Cowboys review does not contain spoilers –

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If you’re a fan of westerns, you’ve probably seen one of Robin’s horses on screen. From titles like Django Unchained, Taking Chance, It Nearly Wasn’t Christmas, The Budweiser Clydesdales, and the Marlboro commercials in the nineties, Robin’s horses have been some of the biggest names in the industry.

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A still from My Heroes Were Cowboys, with Robin’s hourses on set.

But it had been a long struggle for him to get there. Robin and his family live in Wyoming in a place called Turtle Ranch. His breakthrough in the Marlboro commercials sought him his way up and to the top of his field in the industry.

The short film is absolutely stunning in its visuals. The cinematography along with the crisp editing makes it a rather pleasing short film to watch.

A still from My Heroes Were Cowboys featuring Robin Wiltshire at his ranch.
A still from My Heroes Were Cowboys featuring Robin Wiltshire at his ranch.

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Apart from some of the most breathtaking sequences with creative camera angles and amazing editing, the story in itself is quite interesting, but only to a certain extent. It was fun to watch what goes on behind the scenes of our favourite western films, but the film sometimes got a little too repetitive.

The visuals were stunning, yes, but they weren’t the most relevant and could get rather confusing because of the way they clashed with the audio.

The short film tried to cram in hours worth of information into a condensation of just 23 minutes seems like an oversimplification of the facts. What the 23 minutes do, however, is make you realise the amount of work that goes into every frame and just how much of a bond animals can share with their owners.

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A still from My Heroes were Cowboys where Robin trains his horse for a balancing trick

Final Verdict: My Heroes Were Cowboys

The only reasons someone might really want to watch this film would be because they love horses way too much or if they’re a huge fan of westerns (like me!). But if you do happen to stumble upon it, give it a watch and you most definitely won’t regret it. And if you do, well, it’s just 23 minutes long! I’d recommend you to watch this irrespective.

My Heroes Were Cowboys is now streaming on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

My Heroes Were Cowboys reinforces the bond humans share with their animals.

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