7.4/10
4,967
63 user 17 critic

National Velvet (1944)

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Velvet's orphaned niece, Sarah, follows her dream of Olympic glory with her horse Arizona Pie.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Tatum O'Neal, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Hopkins
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After her destitute family is forced to sell her, a collie named Lassie escapes from her new owner and begins the long trek from Scotland to her Yorkshire home.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp, Dame May Whitty
Drama | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in ... See full summary »

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan, Tom Drake
Little Women (1949)
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien
Adventure | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »

Director: Carroll Ballard
Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A teenager loses his horse in Morocco and gets him back after various daredevil adventures.

Director: Robert Dalva
Stars: Kelly Reno, Vincent Spano, Allen Garfield
Adventure | Family | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young girl befriends a wild black stallion.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Biana Tamimi, Richard Romanus, Patrick Elyas
The Yearling (1946)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A boy persuades his parents to allow him to adopt a young deer, but what will happen if the deer misbehaves?

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr.
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to Africa with the army.

Directors: Walter Lang, William A. Seiter
Stars: Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise
Family | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ken McLaughlin struggles to please his family in any way. He comes back from boarding school boasting poor grades and facing going through the fifth grade again, much to his fathers dismay.... See full summary »

Director: Harold D. Schuster
Stars: Roddy McDowall, Preston Foster, Rita Johnson
Black Beauty (1994)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The fates of horses, and the people who own and command them, are revealed as Black Beauty narrates the circle of his life.

Director: Caroline Thompson
Stars: Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Docs Keepin Time
Phar Lap (1983)
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The true story of a Australian racehorse that becomes a champion with the help of a local stableboy.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Burlinson, Judy Morris, Richard Morgan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ...
Donald Brown (as Jackie Jenkins)
...
Arthur Treacher ...
...
...
Terry Kilburn ...
Ted
Arthur Shields ...
Aubrey Mather ...
Alec Craig ...
Tim
Eugene Loring ...
Edit

Storyline

Mi Taylor was a young wanderer and opportunist whose father had given him "all the roads in the Kingdom" to travel. One of the roads, and a notation in his father's journal, leads him to the quiet English country-side home of the Brown family. The youngest daughter, Velvet, has a passion for horses and when she wins the spirited steed Pie in a town lottery, Mi is encouraged to train the horse for the Grand National - England's greatest racing event. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Simple Story Of A Boy . . . A Girl . . . And A Horse! Set to the thunder of the Grand National Steeplechase! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fuego de juventud  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The music during the "lobster for dinner" scene between Mr. & Mrs. Brown is actually a very close paraphrase of "Ballet Of The Unhatched Chicks" from Moussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" as orchestrated by Ravel. Moreover, film composer Herbert Stothart had actually used this exact music chart in 1940 for a sequence in "Pride & Prejudice." See more »

Goofs

Mr. Brown, a butcher who should know better, authoritatively announces that one small-to-medium-sized lobster will provide a family dinner for six: A claw apiece for he and his wife, the entire tail (the meatiest part of the crustacean) for his picky young son who's a finicky eater and what's "in-between" (basically all of it's inedible entrails) for his three teenage daughters - with some left over for the dog! In reality, a lobster of that size would hardly feed one hungry person. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Herbert Brown: Donald, go back to bed.
Donald Brown: I'll only fall asleep.
Mr. Herbert Brown: That is the general purport and intention.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A frame, with music, was added to the film at the end: "To families of servicemen and women: Pictures exhibited in this theater are given to the armed forces for showing in combat areas around the world. [signed] War Activities Committee/Motion Picture Industry" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elizabeth Taylor: A Tribute (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"--- a 12-year old's single mindedness of commitment and trust ---"
30 October 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

If you last saw National Velvet with a Saturday matinée serial, for a ticket price of twenty-five cents (including popcorn) -- and you purchased the video to see it again with family -- be prepared to re-experience primal feelings from the early dawn of your history. Warm, wet tears will run down your cheeks. Warm, happy feelings will make you stand up and cheer, as if the posse were galloping to the rescue; but most of all, you will feel good -- it will happen often while viewing National Velvet. See the video many times -- cry and use a handkerchief (remember that piece of cloth mom tucked into your shirt pocket) -- jump up from the sofa and cheer; and FEEL GOOD again -- and again.

National Velvet was initially released in 1944; but I must have seen a re-release soon thereafter -- because I know that I was in grade school at the time. I did not see it again until I bought the DVD for my mother recently. And if asked what the movie was about, during that interim period of more than fifty years, I would have answered -- "it's about a horse." That's a boy's initial and lasting impression.

Animal lovers, (I'm sorry, but) National Velvet is not a horsey movie (and never has been)-- the film is really about the pre-teen innocence and enthusiasm of Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor). No animal -- not the film's sorrel gelding, nor Charlie, my yellow labrador -- can compete with the budding beauty of Elizabeth Taylor for the camera's attention. But, stay focused on Velvet's three interwoven relationships -- with Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney), with her mother (Anne Revere, best supporting actress Academy Award), and the horse, Pirate ("Pi"). What characterizes winsome Velvet, in these attachments, is a 12-year old's single mindedness of commitment and trust, together with her unwaivering loyalty -- admirable qualities also of Ms. Taylor in real life. Mi, whose father mentored Mrs. Brown, is a young itinerant from less fortunate circumstances, with a working knowledge of jumping horses. Mrs. Brown, ever mindful of her own growing experiences, is especially supportive of both her daughter and Mi. The spirited Pi is difficult handling for its owner, and the horse soon becomes a project for Mi and Velvet.

Angela Lansbury (Velvet's older sister, Edwina, aka TV's Jessica Fletcher fifty years later), Jackie Jenkins (the young brother), and particularly Donald Crisp (Mr. Brown, Velvet's father and village butcher) provide able and entertaining support roles. National Velvet received five Academy nominations, winning two.

Set in the 1920's English coastal village of Sewels and its green pasturelands (on location in Carmel, California), Enid Bagnold's book (1933)and the film (1944) tell us a lot about the moral and social structure of small villages (and our small towns, too). One meaningful scene shows Mrs. Brown stowing money in a kitchen pot on her pantry shelf, while Mi spies from the window -- we are wary of what he might do next. Villagers could be suspicious of strangers but they also extended trust, believing in a person's goodness. Front doors were left open -- grandparents will tell of neighbors regularly walking into an empty house, through the unlatched screen, to borrow a cup of sugar from the same cupboard where family monies were stored (my mother kept petty cash in an unused sugar bowl). Honesty was important, but entrusting friends and neighbors was equally valued. That unlatched screen with open front door was a symbol of our neighborliness and trust, and a more meaningful symbol of the times we lived in -- and yes, maybe it said something about our innocence too.


28 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Horses Name Paulious78
liz taylor riding double vallentine
One of these things doesn't belong mstatz
the greatest family movie of all time! cathytreks
mi's father lkpo90
soundtrack help? emt8134
Discuss National Velvet (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page