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Black Stallion

The Black Stallion

4.3 15
Director: Carroll Ballard

Cast: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr


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This beautifully mounted adaptation of Walter Farley's story for children tells the tale of Alec (Kelly Reno), a young boy touring the world with his adventurous salesman father (Hoyt Axton). While travelling back to the United States by ship, Alec discovers a wild, beautiful Arabian stallion being brought along in the cargo hold. When disaster strikes at sea, the


This beautifully mounted adaptation of Walter Farley's story for children tells the tale of Alec (Kelly Reno), a young boy touring the world with his adventurous salesman father (Hoyt Axton). While travelling back to the United States by ship, Alec discovers a wild, beautiful Arabian stallion being brought along in the cargo hold. When disaster strikes at sea, the ship sinks, and Alec and the stallion are the only survivors. Alone together on a nearby island, the boy and the horse develop a relationship; wary of each other at first, they learn to trust each other, and they become close friends. When a rescue party finally finds Alec, he refuses to leave the island without the stallion, and the horse goes with Alec to the small town that is his home. Alec's mother (Teri Garr) is at a loss about what to do with this remarkable but difficult animal. Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney), an elderly horse trainer who lives in the neighborhood, senses a special connection between the boy and his horse; he's soon convinced that with the right training, and the boy as his jockey, the horse could be a champion on the race course. First-time director Carroll Ballard captures the mysterious relationship between humans and animals, treating the stallion with the same intelligence and respect as the rest of his cast; he also draws fine, understated performances from Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney, and Caleb Deschanel's photography makes this a feast for the eyes. The Black Stallion is that rare contemporary family film that will fascinate adults as much as their kids, if not more so.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bruce Kluger
Twenty-five minutes into The Black Stallion viewers may be astounded to discover that they have become thoroughly engrossed in a film that has, so far, featured almost no dialogue. Indeed, when director Carroll Ballard chose to adapt Walter Farley's boy-meets-horse children's tale for the big screen, he clearly decided to make the visuals speak for themselves. And as the story unfolds -- from an ocean liner to a desert island to a racetrack -- the potent beauty of the physical world, courtesy of cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, is the film's true headliner. Alec (Kelly Reno) is a young boy who, during a sea voyage with his father, discovers a dauntingly beautiful Arabian stallion in the ship's cargo hold. Just as Alec is beginning to make contact with the animal, an unexpected storm sinks the ship, landing the boy and the horse on an uninhabited isle. So begins a relationship as uniquely touching as it is unpredictable and untamed. Halfway into the movie, a new story line takes root -- the boy is rescued and takes the stallion back home with him, where he befriends a horse trainer (Mickey Rooney) who turns him into a budding jockey. But what sustains the film through to its final frame is Ballard's commitment to his themes: the jaw-dropping majesty of nature and the invincibility of a boy's love.
All Movie Guide
One of the most visually stunning family films ever made, Carroll Ballard's The Black Stallion is a fantastic tale about the liberation of a wild Arabian horse who saves Alec, a shipwrecked boy, and becomes his best friend. The film's first half-hour is daring, with no dialogue and breathtaking underwater photography of the horse and the boy. The reverie is broken by the more conventional second half, which features Mickey Rooney in a pleasing comeback role as a horse trainer who helps Alec race the untamed stallion. Kelly Reno is superbly authentic as Alec, but the real stars are the horse and the brilliant cinematography of Caleb Deschanel. The craftsmanship of the film, including a graceful score by Carmine Coppola, puts most child-and-animal films to shame. Ballard's background as a cinematographer influences the beauty of this and all his films, including Fly Away Home. He was not on board for the inferior sequel, The Black Stallion Returns, which lacks the original's beauty and charm.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by Director of Photography Caleb Deschanel, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack; Five short films by Director Carroll Ballard, with new introductions by the filmmaker: Pig! (1965), The Perils of Priscilla (1969), Rodeo (1969), Seems Like Only Yesterday (1971), and Crystallization (1974); New conversation between Ballard and film critic Scott Foundas; New interview with Deschanel; New piece featuring Mary Ellen Mark discussing her photographs from the film's set; Trailer; Plus: An essay by film critic Michael Sragow

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kelly Reno Alec Ramsey
Mickey Rooney Henry Dailey
Teri Garr Alec's Mother
Clarence Muse Snoe
Hoyt Axton Alec's Father
Michael Higgins Neville
Ed McNamara Jake
Doghmi Larbi The Arab
John Burton Jockey
John Buchanan Jockey
Kristen Vigard Becky
Fausto Tozzi Rescue Captain

Technical Credits
Carroll Ballard Director
Doug Claybourne Asst. Director
Carmine Coppola Score Composer
Francis Ford Coppola Executive Producer
Aurelio Crugnola Art Director
Robert Dalva Editor
Caleb Deschanel Cinematographer
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Melissa Mathison Screenwriter
Earl G. Preston Art Director
Vic Ramos Casting
Fred Roos Producer
Jeanne Rosenberg Screenwriter
Tom Sternberg Producer
Shirley Walker Score Composer
Jesse Wayne Stunts
William D. Wittliff Screenwriter


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The Black Stallion 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Black Stallion is seriously the most heart warming movie I have ever seen. Right from the start you are enthralled with all the action. When Alec and Black are washed up on the same island together you feel incredible relief because you just know they are going to take care of each other. You see them playing together on the beach like little children and it literally makes you yearn to be stranded on an island with a black stallion!! As a horse lover I was ecstatic when the boy was saved but even more so when they wouldn't leave each other and Black swam out to make sure they wouldn't lose each other.The horse race at the end is intense and you want nothing more than to see these two amazing characters win! One of my many favorite parts of the movie was when the film was over and they showed frames of when Alec and Black were on the island together, galloping through the sand and ocean and the sunset. Truly magestic!!!! Along with the music playing, it truly made me cry. I've seen all the horse movies out there, and enjoyed each one, but The Black Stallion sincerely warmed my heart. Even if you don't know or care much about horses, you will after you see this film. I LOVED IT!! And bought it so I could feel all tingly and warm all over again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had seen the film a number of years ago, and decided to watch it the other night. Perhaps age (and the excess of cinematic junk out there)has something to do with it, but seeing it again, I must say this is not a great child's film, or a great horse film, but a wonderful, sooaring film that deserves to be included on a short list of the best that Hollywood has ever produced. And this is from someone who has been an avid film buff for over 40 years. The visuals are breathtaking, the 27-minute sequence on the island without dialogue was a master stroke of judgement and restraint, and the characters and their dialogue ring remarkably true. I just ordered the DVD. I don't want my grandchildren to miss this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
by Larry D. Bohall (author of Martyr's Cry--ISBN 1591295327): I remember reading The Black Stallion as a kid, and was absolutely enthralled with the movie. This is an incredible film that works best on the BIG screen. I loved the direction, the sparsity of dialogue, the music. Mickey Rooney was exceptional. And so was Kelly Reno. I recommend this movie highly!
suedcb More than 1 year ago
One of the best movies ever. Incredible scenery and haunting in its beauty. Maybe a little slow in places for some, but I loved every minute of it. I so long to see it again on the big screen.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i should of nowen better to watch this movie after i read the book the book was not that good not bad just not real good i was hopping the black horse would when the race at the end againt the tiger like in the book insted it was diffrent if it wasnt for Mickey Rooney one of the hotest male actors in my opinion the movie would have been a total flop but they should have used a brown horse maybe the next time hoolywood does it they make it better
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was excellent! My family watched it together and we all loved it. It was a great movie and you should watch it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film was so beautifully filmed and the soundtrack is wonderful!! I received this movie for Christmas when I was 10 and when I watched it for the first time I was enchanted. No film will ever touch me the way this film has. You must see it!
FilmCollector More than 1 year ago
The almost surreal visuals captured in the filming of this movie are so stunning that you get halfway through the film before you realize that there has been almost no dialog. In my opinion, this movie ranks up there with Avatar as being one of the "Breakthrough" films of our age. Any wanna-be Director should be required to watch this film in their studies. Is the storyline great? No. It lost a lot in translation from the book, however, that being said, it is still very much worth watching if, in any way, shape, or form, you love horses or enjoy breath-taking scenery. It's worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peruse the other reviews. I concur with every exemplary description of this movie and would like to add two things. One is that the cinematography is so positively beautiful that the eyes drink in the art before them. The other is the way they put together the musical soundtrack with the action on the screen. The scene with the horse first taking high steps through the water in time to the music, then later galloping to the tempo of the beautiful classical music. This movie is not only a very exciting story, but the exquisite cinematography and the wonderful weaving of the musical soundtrack are a feast for the eyes and ears as well. This movie is an absolute emotional and sensory experience.
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