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National Velvet (1944)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Sport  |  26 January 1945 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,701 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 17 critic

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

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(novel), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: National Velvet (1944)

National Velvet (1944) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ...
Donald Brown (as Jackie Jenkins)
Juanita Quigley ...
Arthur Treacher ...
...
...
Terry Kilburn ...
Ted
Arthur Shields ...
Aubrey Mather ...
Alec Craig ...
Tim
Eugene Loring ...
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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 »
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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) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor underwent drastic measures to prove that she was right for the role. Velvet brown was supposed to be a girl in her late teens, going through the natural changes into womanhood. Taylor was told by the director that she couldn't be velvet, as she was rather "boyish". This only provoked Elizabeth more; she ate steak everyday, doubled her portion of meals, and rode her horse constantly to train. In three months, Elizabeth grew three inches, and began to gain the natural curves of a woman. For her efforts alone, she won the role. See more »

Goofs

The horses are shown turning right during the race. All turns on the Grand National course are made to the left. See more »

Quotes

Donald Brown: I was sick all night!
Malvolia "Mally" Brown: That's a lie, Donald. You weren't sick.
Donald Brown: I could've been sick if I wanted to.
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 Gilmore Girls: The Fundamental Things Apply (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia!
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A standout family film from the golden age of Hollywood
3 February 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"National Velvet" tells the story of Velvet Brown, a young English girl with dreams of entering her beloved horse into competition at the prestigious Grand National horse race. The film follows her as she trains her horse with the aid of a former jockey and the support of her parents.

While "National Velvet" is a family film that fact shouldn't deter anyone who typically views such films with derision. The film is indeed one that will appeal to the entire family, not just attention-addled youngsters. It even managed to land five Oscar nominations, hardly a sign of slacking off for a general audience.

Anne Revere, in the part of Velvet's mother, actually won an Oscar for her performance. She was indeed excellent in the role but it is 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor who steals the show. She is a charming presence and exhibits a talent beyond her years. Also on board is Oscar-winner Donald Crisp as Velvet's father, Mickey Rooney as former jockey Mi Taylor and Angela Lansbury (in one of her earliest film roles) as Velvet's older sister.

The film's lustrous Technicolor makes for an attractive viewing experience while the editing secured the second of the film's two Oscars. Additionally, the film was nominated for its direction (by Clarence Brown), cinematography & art direction. The score by ten-time Oscar nominee Herbert Stothart is also worth mentioning, though it went unnominated.

All in all, "National Velvet" is a wonderful family film that deserves a higher rating. I realize that the prospect of watching a film about a girl and her horse isn't exactly going to thrill some people but this one is worth taking a chance on.


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