From its turbulent beginning in a storm-swept sea to its unforgettable horse race finale, The Black Stallion is a modern-day movie landmark. One of the most highly praised productions of 1979,it is "a wonderful experience.... more »..for adults and for kids" (Roger Ebert). When a shipwreck leaves Alec (Kelly Reno)a courageous young boyand The Blacka wild Arabian stallion 'stranded on a desolate island, the two share a frightening adventure of survival that forges a lasting bond of friendship between them. Upon their rescue, Alec and the magnificent horse continue their adventures when they join forces with ex-jockey and horse trainer Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney). Recognizing the winning combination of The Black's remarkable spirit and Alec's unwavering devotion tohis friend, Dailey takes both under his wing and prepares them to go head to head with the world's best thoroughbreds in "the race of the century."« less
Great movie, beautiful photography, and easy to follow storyline
Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC Reviewed on 1/15/2011...
This is a classic. Great family movie.
Michael S. (Thanotos) from EUDORA, KS Reviewed on 12/12/2009...
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Melody F. (Melody13) from BRUSH CREEK, TN Reviewed on 4/22/2009...
This is a REALLY good movie...I got rid of it because I had watched it to much but it is in Perfect shape! Thank You for looking at my DVD!! God Bless You!!!
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lisa Z. (lisa3) from FOND DU LAC, WI Reviewed on 1/14/2008...
This is one of my favorite horse movies. It's a great family film that should also hold the interest of adults. The island scenes are beautifully shot!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Timeless "Horse" movie - for all ages
MooonChild | Denver, CO United States | 06/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Growing up, I was a genuine horse-freak, and considered myself a connoisseur of all-things-horse, especially movies. The Black Stallion has always been one of my favorites.Of course, it doesn't hurt any movie to be executive-produced by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather I,II,III). But what really shines through in this film is the stunning cinematography and camera work, and the acting by Cass Ole ("The Black"), Kelly Reno (Alec) and of course, Mickey Rooney, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.This film really captures the mood and feeling of the first "Black Stallion" book. There is virtually no dialogue for a good portion of the film, and it is not missed. The on-screen relationship between Alec and The Black is one that could not be expressed in words under any circumstances.When I first received this DVD, I put it in to watch it with my father on Christmas night a few years ago. During the island scenes between Alec and The Black, I stifled tears; the scenes - the photography is that stunning.I was enthralled by this movie as a 13-year-old girl with a passion for horses, and I feel the same way as a 36-year-old.Buy this DVD for your children, or buy this DVD for you, but buy this DVD. It will quickly become a favorite!"
The Best Horse Movie Ever Made
Maigray | 04/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is with great pleasure I can tell you that I have sat through nearly every horse movie ever made - and that "The Black Stallion" is still the best one I have ever seen.
Every aspect of the film is superlative; the casting, the acting, the adaptation to screenplay, the music, the sounds, the editing, the characterization and most especially, the cinematography. But the real genius of the film lies in director Carroll Ballard's exquisite ability to render his main character, namely the black stallion himself, on the screen.
Since I have experience with horses I am obviously very aware of how films use their equine actors. Errors are immediately apparent. This film does not have any. Every time a horse is onscreen, characterization in action and expression is perfect.
Credit, of course, goes to trainer Corky Randall, and also to the decision to cast Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney, horsemen themselves, into the human roles.
Tremendous credit also goes out to the filmmakers for making the effort to secure animals who would fit the role so well - actual black arabian stallions. Most would not have gone to the trouble, preferring to work with geldings, or with any breed of horse with the necessary color and training to make the role. Just look to other notable horse films, like Black Beauty, The Horse Whisperer and SeaBiscuit, to see how the horse is changed to fit the film.
One of the best examples of the film's genius with the horses is the scene in which Alec and "The Black" first become friends. The film shows the stallion who played that portion of the scene retreating each time the boy walks toward him, then advancing each time he walks away. By degrees of advance and retreat is Alec finally able to get close to the horse.
Such behavior mimics a horse's natural response perfectly. But it is not simply how it was it was choreographed; it is how the horse plays the part. The animal does not tamely walk forward and backwards - he displays a spirit and impatience of a gorgeously trained animal being put through a difficult series of steps; obedient but with powerful character. On film, this highly charged personality mimics perfectly the anxiety and anger of a wild stallion trying to cope with coming close to a being he regards with suspicion.
Trivia for those interested; Cass-Ole, the stallion to whom lead credit was given, actually had 4 white socks and the star. In the close shots, you can see the white under the makeup. It was Cass Ole and Kelly Reno who did most actual scenes, such as galloping without bridle and saddle down the beach. Most films use doubles for such scenes.
Fae-Jur, the main double, was also a black stallion; it is rumored he was not even a true black, but a grey who had to be dyed extensively to play the role. He is said to have done many of the "wild" scenes, when no rider was required.
The film gets my highest recommendation for both adults and children. Some may be frustrated by the artistic slant of the story - it rolls past like a dream, especially the island sequences. Children who have read the book may be disappointed by any changes they perceive in the story. But the film is a a masterpiece of storytelling - for children or otherwise."
A stunning classic in children's movies
Mary Jo Sminkey | Raleigh, NC USA | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a huge fan of the Black Stallion series, and when the movie was first released in theatres, I begged, pleaded and nagged my mom into taking me to the only one in the DC area that was showing it. While viewing the beautiful island scenes on a TV will never have the impact they had that first time on the big screen, this is still a favorite movie of mine. The changes they made from the book were fairly minor. But all the magic is there...and the Black! Cass Ole was stunning as the Black, far superior to the horse they later used for the series on TV. While he may not be as large as I might have imagined, he was gorgeous and wonderful to watch, I could easily believe this was a wild horse straight out of the desert. Mickey Rooney is of course perfect as Henry, and the match race was well done, very true to the original story. Overall, a wonderful, wonderful movie which you can watch time and again and enjoy no matter what age you are."
The most underated movie of all time??
Tyler L. Czapla | Gillette, WY USA | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one reviewer said, this movie tells only what's relevant to the story, and oh what a story it is. I knew this movie could be truly great when Alec's father gave him a stallion figurine and a story. Looking back its easy to forget the importance of that moment. Before his death, Alecs dad provided the story that would analogize the entire movie. To ride the horse became Alecs drive, then when realized it became his gift, and finally it became our inspiration. The secret of the movie lies in everything unspoken, we don't need to be reminded, and assured of the great bond between boy and horse, we can see it, and then we can internalize it. The final scenes, the match race could have easily been distanced from the story line, after all the story was up to then not that Black was faster than other horses, but that the bond was strong between him and Alec. And so in the final turn, as the Black broke from the other two, we were taken back in time, on a beach with a boy and a stallion who simply rode. While the spectators were amazed at this horse, the viewer knew the story, we knew the bond between the two, and this is the greatness of the movie. As far as I'm concerned the give-and-take scene, as Alex and Black finally make there immortal bond, is one of the most beautiful, touching, innocent, and just plain entertaining moments ever filmed. A case could be made for the sucessful ride scene as well. Reno's performance was perfect, I don't know if I could ever "feel" an actor as well as he, as opposed to simply watch an actor. His body language and expressions were as powerfull as any dialogue. Rooney was very good, seamless in his role, but he was far less central to the movie than Alec himself. Movies are inherantly powerfull in showing, not telling. The imagery, the facial and body language, and the score of The Black Stallion take movie making to the highest level, of its most powerful level. Its one of my favorite movies, and surely one of the greatest movies the critics have largely ignored."