You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley's 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard's feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard's camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary.

With:
Kelly Reno Mickey Rooney Teri Garr

The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary.

Set in 1949, pic is divided into four basic sections. Opening sees the American boy Alec (Kelly Reno) on a ship with his amiable father. Also on board is ‘the Black’, a stallion owned by a menacing Arab.

After both end up overboard, Alec and the horse find sanctuary on a deserted Mediterranean island, filmed on unusual Sardinian locations. Ensuing half hour, in which the two gradually make contact and establish rapport is pulled off completely without dialog, backed instead by Carmine Coppola’s richly complementary score.

After rescue, focus shifts Stateside. Alec’s mother (Teri Garr) naturally doesn’t understand her son’s now nearly symbiotic relationship with Black. Horse escapes, later to be found by the boy at farm of retired racehorse trainer Mickey Rooney. Fourth act is consumed by Black’s entry into a match race as a ‘mystery horse.’

Performances are all lowkeyed and right on pitch. Film went into production over two years earlier and is said to have experienced numerous problems along the way. They’ve all been ironed out.

1979: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Mickey Rooney), Editing

The Black Stallion

Production: United Artists. Director Carroll Ballard; Producer Fred Roos, Tom Sternberg; Screenplay Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg, William D. Wittliff; Camera Caleb Deschanel; Editor Robert Dalva; Music Carmine Coppola, [Shirley Walker]; Art Director Aurelio Crugnola, Earl Preston

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 118 MIN.

With: Kelly Reno Mickey Rooney Teri Garr

More Film

  • Wanderland

    Wanderland

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • Virginia Madsen Valeria Cotto

    Film News Roundup: Virginia Madsen, Valeria Cotto to Star in Supernatural Thriller 'Sarah'

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • avengers infinity war

    Can 'Avengers: Infinity War' Top 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'' Record Box Office Opening?

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • BondIt Media Capital

    BondIt Media Capital Closes $20 Million Credit Facility (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • Brookings Institution presents "The Life She

    Brookings Institution Doc Puts a Human Face on the Medical Marijuana Movement

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • Playback Podcast: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini'

    Playback: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini' and the Erosion of Mid-Budget Studio Filmmaking

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

  • The Equalizer 2 trailer

    Denzel Washington Is Back in Action in 'Equalizer 2' Trailer

    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem. Based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel, which spawned 16 sequels, Carroll Ballard’s feature debut is rich in adventure, suspense and mythical elements and marks the prize-winning short-subjects director as a major talent. Ballard’s camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordinary. Set in 1949, pic is […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content