7.3/10
5,209
64 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 TV
ON DISC
ALL
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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 | 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
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  

The March sisters -- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy -- struggle to make ends meet in their New England household while their father is away fighting in the Civil War. Despite harsh times, they cling... 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
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
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.
The Blue Bird (1976)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A pair of peasant children, Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl, are led on a magical quest for the fabulous Blue Bird of Happiness by the Fairy Berylune. On their journey, they are accompanied by... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Cicely Tyson
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Teenager Homer Macauley stays at home in small-town Ithaca to support his family, while his older brother Marcus prepares to go to war.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Donald Brown (as Jackie Jenkins)
...
...
...
...
...
Ted
...
...
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 race-course map which Mi shows Velvet is an accurate portrayal of the real-life Grand National course at Aintree, near Liverpool. What's more, like the movie, the course actually has a Becher's Brook jump and a Canal Turn jump with its sharp left turn. See more »

Goofs

In this story that is set in the 1920s, the female fashions and hairdos are clearly from the 1940s. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Herbert Brown: [Velvet is pretending she's riding The Pi] Who's this Pi? A new one?
Velvet Brown: Oh, Father, you should see him, he's beautiful. He never puts a foot wrong.
Mr. Herbert Brown: Who?
Velvet Brown: Mr. Ede's new horse. I'm in love with him.
Mr. Herbert Brown: You're a fickle woman. I've heard you say that about other horses.
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

Followed by International Velvet (1978) 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

 
"By Knowing The Pi Can Win And Telling Him So"
16 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the enduring classics from MGM came out in the closing years of World War II, it's the film that made young Elizabeth Taylor a star. She had done a few films as a child actress before National Velvet, but when it came out her place in the movies was assured. Ironically enough biologically she'd be growing up fast enough after National Velvet was out and her next struggle as an actress was to get substantial adult roles because casting directors only saw her as innocent little Velvet Brown who loved her jumping horse.

I'm not sure of how this would work because steeplechase horses have to have confirmed bloodlines and the Pi's are a subject not dealt with in National Velvet. All we know is that he's a reckless and untrainable horse in the hands of Reginald Owen and after he breaks free and causes considerable damage, Owen gets rid of him for a nominal price to the local butcher Donald Crisp.

At the same time as these things are happening, Mickey Rooney comes wandering into the lives of the Brown family which consists of Crisp, wife Anne Revere, and daughters Angela Lansbury, Juanita Quigley, and Elizabeth Taylor and their little brother Butch Jenkins. Rooney is a former jockey who's now on the open road and heading for the Brown family where his father was once a horse trainer for Anne Revere's family. It's he who sees the potential of the Pi (short for pirate) as a steeplechase jumper and it's Elizabeth who convinces Crisp not to pass up this chance.

Elizabeth Taylor was so sweet and innocent in National Velvet. The Good Book says you have to have faith like a child and she has it to spare. She infuses Rooney with it, to have faith in the heart and ability of the Pi and to leave a little over for himself.

Anne Revere won a Best Supporting Actress Award for National Velvet. She's a very wise mother who has hidden depths to her that the audience doesn't suspect. It turns out that back in her youth she had a taste of fame and glory swimming the English Channel and her prize money, saved all these years, she gives to her daughter. That scene is probably what won her the Oscar. National Velvet also won one other Academy Award, for Film Editing.

Over 60 years after it made its debut National Velvet as a family classic hasn't lost a thing. Its depiction of life between the World Wars in Great Britain is still a standout. And National Velvet launched a movie legend. Can't do much better than that for high regard.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page