Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Black Stallion

Carroll Ballard, 1979 (8.5*)

One of the best horse stories ever, from the children's novel by Walter Farley. A young boy, played by Kelly Reno, on an ocean voyage is intrigued by a black stallion on board, when a sudden shipwreck strands them both on a deserted island. The boy and the horse become inseparable friends out of loneliness and mutual need.

After rescue, the two are returned home, and an aging Mickey Rooney, a former race horse trainer, gives a wonderful and Oscar®-nominated performance for supporting actor as he persuades the boy to race the almost wild stallion. Beautiful cinematography and an inspiring G-rated story make this one of the best family films. A classic in the Disney tradition established in the 1950's, this is my favorite Rooney performance on film; he's not so over-energetic and obnoxious in his older age.

3 comments:

Filme December 23, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

really interesting list you've got!!!

Joseph December 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

I fondly remember watching The Black Stallion when I was a kid. What as your favorite scene?

Jose Sinclair December 23, 2010 at 11:22 PM  

Joseph,
I think the scene when the kid is first befriending the stallion on the island is the most exciting visually and the most moving emotionally
What makes this film is the beautiful cinematography - the story is predictable but good directors can get away with that if they maintain your interest visually..

Some directors, Wong Kar-Wai comes to mind, often don't even tell a story, the film itself is the story (Chungking Express, Fallen Angels) - Antonioni's brilliant L'AVVENTURA is also in this category, winner of a special award at Cannes for "giving us a new way of looking at cinema"

thanks for the comments.. Jose

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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