The Black Stallion

1979, Movie, G, 118 mins


This touching and beautifully photographed, if slightly overlong, tale of a boy and his horse follows the escapades of young Alec Ramsey (Reno), who is traveling across the ocean with his father.

The ship sinks, and Alec is saved by Black, a handsome Arabian stallion the boy had befriended earlier in the journey. After being shipwrecked on a deserted island, Alec and Black are rescued and returned to their small-town home. Eventually, Black is cared for by former horse trainer Henry Dailey (Rooney), who later takes Kelly under his wing to be trained as a jockey. Naturally, it all leads up to the big race--a stunningly photographed sequence brimming with tension.

A simple film, sentimental but not mawkish, as enjoyable for adults as it is for children, THE BLACK STALLION is one of the finest movies about children and horses since Elizabeth Taylor was seen in NATIONAL VELVET. It's also a pleasure to see Rooney back in the saddle again, so to speak, and his lively character turn won him a much-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. A sequel, THE BLACK STALLION RETURNS (1983), is more a Saharan adventure than a sports picture. leave a comment

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