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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Black Stallion
Directed by Carroll Ballard
MGM Home Entertainment 10/79 DVD/VHS Feature Film
G

For this eye-fetching screen adaptation of Walter Farley's classic novel, executive producer Francis Ford Coppola chose Carroll Ballard, an independent producer-director of short films, to be at the helm of this adventure story. Shot in Sardinia, Rome, and Toronto, this drama is pleasing in every way. From the opening sequence of a shipwreck at sea to the closing scenes of triumph for a boy and his horse, this is family entertainment at its finest.

Eleven-year-old Kelly Reno plays Alec Ramsay, an American lad who falls in love with an Arabian stallion called Black the first time he sees him. On the screen, there is real magic between them. Mickey Rooney stars as the trainer who sets up a match race between Black and two other spirited horses. The cinematography by Caleb Deschanell is breathtaking. Also featured in supporting roles are Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton, Clarence Muse and Michael Higgins. The Black Stallion slowly and gently shows how beauty can bloom in our relationships with animals.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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