National Velvet (1944) Poster


After production was completed, arrangements were made to allow Elizabeth Taylor to keep the horse.
The story that Mi tells to Donald about a shipwrecked horse is based on a true story about a New Zealand-bred thoroughbred named "Moiffa" who did in fact survive his ordeal and went on to win the Grand National the following year. In 1979 Mickey Rooney starred in The Black Stallion (1979), which is about a shipwrecked horse that goes on to win a major race.
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.
The Pie was played by King Charles, a grandson of Man o' War and whose owner had trained him as a show jumper.
In 1941 MGM proposed filming the story with Shirley Temple and Spencer Tracy, but Temple's mother turned it down because she felt it did not showcase her daughter properly.
One of the few films to be shown on commercial network television after being shown on local stations, rather than the other way around.
Eighteen-year-old Gene Tierney had been set to portray Velvet Brown. When the film was delayed, Tierney signed a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox.
Carl and Eleanor Goldbogen appear as extras in the crowd scenes. Carl's brother was Avrom Goldbogen, professionally known as producer Michael Todd, who would become Elizabeth Taylor's third husband in 1957.
Ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008.
Future British MP Baroness Shirley Williams auditioned for the Velvet Brown role.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 3, 1947 with Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Donald Crisp reprising their film roles.
"Theater Guild on the Air" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 23, 1950 with Mickey Rooney reprising his film role.
Premiered at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
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."
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Susanna Foster turned down the role of Velvet Brown.

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