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The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion(1979)

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  • One in a thousand

    • James K.
    • 1/28/18

    I consider this a perfect movie, for all practical purpose. If a viewer doesn't like the genre, they might take exception to that opinion. But I cannot imagine how it could have been done better. Taking a relatively simple youngsters' novel, a very old one at that, and transforming it into this piece of art let's one know why people sometimes say "movie magic". The cinematography, the score and incidental music, the locations, the acting and so on...I have never seen better. Special shout-outs to Kelly Reno, Teri Garr and the great Mickey Rooney. Well, and the horse(s) in the lead. I watched Cass Ole win the Derby, back in the day, and he was a superb looking race-horse. It's pretty easy to spot one of the two "lesser" horses when they are in the frame, but that is because of their conformation, not because they did a less than good turn. Among all the other shots Caleb Deschanel got in making a movie as beautifully photographed as any ever made, the last shot of Kelly Reno and Cass Ole standing together gives us a headshot of a horse of royalty. The shape of that head...I don't have the words. I hope Kelly Reno has had a good, satisfying life. To do as good a job as he did in this must have made it impossible to live up to that level, ever again. I have always loved Teri Garr. She has always exhibited certain mannerisms in her roles. Not a bad thing, at all, but I only saw a couple of them in this film, and just right for the role. Mickey Rooney should have gotten an Oscar for this role. A master craftsman at his craft. A number of professional and amateur reviewers have mentioned that, to them, this is like two different movies. I disagree with that, completely, though I can see their point of view. From the time I first saw the movie, when it came to theaters back in '79, I have always been thoroughly absorbed in it, and see it as a progression through major changes in life, though much more dramatic than some of us ever see.

  • Excellent

    • Karen
    • 1/27/18

    5 stars from me. Review below.

  • Excellent

    • Karen
    • 1/27/18

    This is a very beautiful movie, with excellent acting. The first half is a mesmerizing dance, without spoken word, between the boy and his horse. I found it very enchanting and beautiful to watch. The second half was also interesting from a totally different point of view, Mickey Rooney excellent in his role here. Thank you for such an entertaining film.

  • The Black Stallion

    • Michael Whitty
    • 12/28/17

    Like "National Velvet" but from a boy's view "The Black Stallion" begins with a shipwreck and a boy and a horse finding an island then making friends then getting picked up and going back to America. Eventually they meet up with a horse expert- Mickey Rooney- who wants to put them into a big race. Like "National Velvet" "The Black Stallion" has been a children's classic with interaction with the parents and how this mystery horse might respond to competition. Mickey Rooney was in both and received an Oscar nomination for "Black Stallion". This storyline takes in a boy's love for his horse after the horse saved him from a deadly cobra and the two were friends ever since.

  • in the long run..

    • a.morris
    • 11/23/17

    i am sure the people who worked on this would not be thrilled ..but if you only watched the start of this movie and stopped watching after the boy and horse were picked up..then watched the part of the horse would not be cheated at all. everything else is a bonus of time.

  • The Black Stallion

    • Goetan
    • 12/28/14

    An amazing film for children and adults. A boy and horse survive a shipwreck and enter a race when they return to America; Rooney garnered his final Oscar nomination for his supporting performance as the boy's trainer. Won a special award for sound editing; the first half is beautiful and energetic to look at, the second half is predictable and familiar at times. Gorgeous and melodramatic. I give it a 4.5/5.

  • Lovely movie

    • Kirsten I.
    • 12/27/14

    I just saw THE BLACK STALLION for the first time this evening and was enthralled. The scenes at sea, on a beach, on a farm, and even at the race track played like a dream. The heart of this movie is the friendship between a great black stallion and a boy, and the scenes between just the two of them are enchanting, but the movie held me through the later scenes with other characters too. Especially enjoyed Mickey Rooney as a retired horse trainer brought out of retirement. This is a wonderful film for both children and adults.

  • to better educate many of you

    • minnie fleur
    • 10/26/14

    So many viewers & commentators desperately need to learn why this film is the Gold Standard of filmmaking. The entire film is actually an opera, not just the 1st half, from ship to rowboat. Many viewers seem to lack adequate education in arts & culture. This film is groundbreaking because the 2nd half continues the opera, set in middle-class-town USA, not Europe. Please view the film w/this theme in mind. Try to rescue your IQ score from the infestation of 21st century popular-trash-culture.

  • a gold medal of filmmaking!

    • minnie fleur
    • 10/25/14

    Cinema beauty, & 5 star acting by all! Mr. Rooney is such a strong presence on film, that the music that plays over some of his speech, doesn't take anything away from his effort in that scene. Young Kelly Reno has true natural talent, so it's fitting for him to be next to Mr. Rooney. The coastal scene is an opera about the potential for freedom & strength of youth, & our connection to nature & need for love. The haunting music completes the enchantment.

  • Gorgeous horses!

    • RedRain
    • 10/18/14

    I'm a horse person and I'm from Texas so this film is very personal to me. The star of the film is the black stallion named, in real life, Cass-Ole. He was an Arabian and his color is quite rare. He did have a white star on his forehead and white ankles but they were dyed black for the film. Having been bred (in Texas!) as a show horse, and having won many national titles, he was very valuable and his owners wouldn't allow him to be in any scenes requiring running or swimming. So...the horses you see in the races were actually one of three bays hired for the film. It's also interesting to note that Kelly Reno, the 13 year old who raced the horses in this film, was hired precisely because he could not only race a horse but also do so with his hands outstretched as in the film. The cinematography in this film is some of the best out there in equine films. It's beautiful to watch. The film story itself is improbable but, rather than nitpick, just enjoy it for what it is. This is a great family film and those are rare these days!

  • My all time favorite

    • Susan
    • 9/10/14

    I loved this movie when I saw it in 1979. Yes, it was a little slow or implausible at times, but many scenes were breathtaking in their beauty and the horse and boy moments were magical. I long to see it again on the big screen someday. My TV just can't do it justice. And I want my children and grandchildren to see it on the big screen.

  • I can't be the only one disappointed in this film!

    • Lola Owens
    • 9/4/12

    Am I a scrooge? With FM's intro I was an eagerly anticipating Senior Citizen waiting to be charmed, edified, etc.Granted the scenery was beautiful, the horse spectacular, but really!!!! Did I miss how the life jacket fell off the boy, but he managed to hold onto the penknife? How he never got sunburned? Where was the hidden bottomless pool of fresh water that kept both the boy and horse so hydrated? And where, on that apparently barren scrubby brush island, was there enough feed to keep that horse constantly at a gallop for months on end?And what hidden berries and nutritional plants kept that boy so fit? We haven't a clue.-And then found by Spanish speaking sailors, and then going home to a town that apperently had heard nothing of the loss, then magical rescue of boy and horse. I could go on. -I did love Mickey Rooney AND the horse, but the pretentious, overly ponderous and self-important musical score got on my elderly nerves eventually, and after the ridiculous early morning scene at the track, I just had to give up on this misbegotten adventure. It will never replace National Velvet, or in my mind, that very good effort by Tatum ONeal. (I'm old, so I can't remember the title as the movie took place too recently, to be in my long term memory).

  • classic horse movie

    • w.martin
    • 5/26/11

    excellent, need more movies like that in this day and age!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This Movie Never Gets Old

    • Craig
    • 5/24/11

    I watch it every time it comes on TCM, I have it on video cassette and I'm going to buy the DVD. Everything that there is to say about this film has already been said. Remarkable performances by Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney (I can't think of a single performance of his that I didn't like) and Teri Garr. The scenery and locations, sound, the score, the whole production is top-notch. Some movies you can watch over and over anytime...and for me, this is one of those.

  • The Black Stallion

    • susan seabury
    • 12/23/10

    I just watched this movie and it was a beautiful movie!!!! Iam going to buy the dvd right now!!!!

  • Mythical Wonder

    • Kevin Jones
    • 10/20/10

    I felt compelled to watch this alone. It is a movie you want to savor. The story line is implausible at times, but that only enhances the mythical quality of the beautiful tale. I found myself welcoming the gaps in the story and the moments of disbelief because they forced me to take an even bigger leap of faith in the story. The script reads more like a lyrical than a narrative poem. It feels impressionistic not representational. This movie involved me more actively as a participant than any in recent memory.

  • A Wonderful And Visually Stunning Film

    • Bruce Reber
    • 10/20/10

    I have seen "The Black Stallion" several times, and I watched it again on TCM Monday 10/18/10 as part of their month long Critic's Choice Festival. It's an excellent story of a young boy's love for a wild black stallion that he tames and eventually trains as race horse. The performances in the two main roles are wonderful-young Kelly Reno as Alec, and Mickey Rooney as Henry, the retired horse trainer. Together they work to train The Black to be the world's fastest race horse, and Henry also trains Alec how to ride, with Alec riding the Black to victory in a match race against two other horses. "The Black Stallion" is very similar to the classic "National Velvet", another great film about a young girl, Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor) who has a great love for her horse the Pie, trains it with the help of Mi (Mickey Rooney), and rides it in England's Grand National Race. The photography in "The Black Stallion" is visually stunning and received an Oscar nomination, as did Mickey Rooney for Best Supporting Actor in his role of Henry. Kelly Reno also deserved a nomination, although I don't think he got one. Excellent film - four stars.

  • Thanks to TCM for airing this

    • gioconda
    • 10/19/10

    I went to film school for 4 years, and never saw this film.It's been allowed to slip through the cracks. TCM's month of having guest film critics screen some of their favorite films has yielded some wonderful surprises. This was the pick of Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal, & kudos to him.I'd never seen "Black Stallion." The cinematograhy is breathtaking. Worth taking a a look for this reason alone. Kelly Reno only made one movie following this amazing perormance due to a serious car accident. What a shame, because he had real talent & such a great rapport with this gorgeous horse. The story line is pretty unreal, but hey, it's a movie. The scenes on the deserted island are like a dream. All children will love this film. Also can't wait to take it to show my 88 year old mother & her monthly film club group. I know the elderly folks will love it, too. It's truly a film for all ages.

  • Love This Movie

    • Craig
    • 10/18/10

    What's not to like about "The Black Stallion"? A boy, a great horse, the scenery on the island, the music, the relationships between Alec and The Black, Alec and Henry...the racing sequences. All around just a remarkable story well told. A dogs is man's best friend, but where would man be if it weren't for the horse?

  • Delightful film!

    • Laura DeRosa
    • 10/1/07

    This was a delightful film to watch with that wonderful horse and little boy. The music was very touching and beautiful, you just want to hear it over and over. It's an inspirational film as well knowing there isn't anything you can't do in life and to just believe in yourself.Naturally, this film brings to one's attention that, yes, there is an animal world that needs just as much love as we all do. This is one for my library collection for sure.

  • black stallion....great movie

    • jim
    • 5/2/07

    this is another movie that should be on dvd and shown on turner....great acting but mickey rooney, and kelly reno, ...a heart warming movie...

  • Exceptional

    • Donna Menelle
    • 5/1/07

    Please release this beautiful, inspiring movie for purchase on DVD. Todays children need more inspirational films with gorgeous cineamatography from the good old days!

  • Amazing

    • Rich
    • 5/1/07

    What an amazing movie of this boy and the Black Stallion. How we need cineamatography like this that is so engaging and inspiring. Like "Dances with Wolves" it drew me into the story in a way that made me at times forget that I was watching a movie at all.

  • GREAT!!!!!

    • Jan
    • 2/7/07

    The photography is phenomenal. The whole movie was just awesome. The little boy is a "natural". We would really love to have a DVD available so we could show our 11 grandchildren. Thank you for showing it for us to enjoy.

  • Horse Lovers Or Not, Do Not Miss This!!

    • Ginny J
    • 1/27/07

    The Black Stalion is one of the best movies (story, location, scenes) I have ever seen! You will revel in the scenery as the stalion first saves a boy's life, then takes the boy through the waters, along the beaches,and into its heart. And the boy is forever captured emotionally by this lovely, statuesque figure! See how Mickey Rooney picks up his life from where he left it many years ago, as a result of meeting the boy! You will not be sorry that you took the time to seehow this story plays out! And you'll be left with such a warm feeling at the end that you'll never want it to leave!!

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