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This sequel to the 1944 Elizabeth Taylor film National Velvet focuses on Sarah Brown, a young, recently orphaned American girl sent to England to live with her aunt - a now grown Velvet Brown. The troubled Sarah is only interested in one thing; horses, and has clearly inherited her aunt's talent. She and her horse Arizona Pie (son of Velvet's Grand National winning stead The Pie) work their way up through the world of eventing, finally being selected for the British Olympic Squad, growing up and finding love along the way. Written by
A beautifully filmed, heartfelt coming-of-age family movie
Like its predecessor, National Velvet, International Velvet (1978) boasts a stellar cast: teenager Tatum O'Neal, the gorgeous Nanette Newman, and leading men Christopher Plummer and Sir Anthony Hopkins. It also has a more believable plot and a top-notch writer/director in Bryan Forbes (The Stepford Wives, The Slipper and the Rose, The Guns of Navarone, Colditz). The main stories are Sarah Brown's (O'Neal), an American orphan who finds herself in England with an aunt she doesn't know (Newman as the adult Velvet Brown), and of the horses and people inextricably entwined in their lives. A poignant and graceful growing up story of the challenges facing a difficult teenager and the adults who raise her, International Velvet has something for both horse lovers and non horse-lovers alike. More important than Sarah's bid for the Olympics is the love that is won. The cinematography and Francis Lai's soundtrack are stunning and awards worthy; Tatum should have won another Oscar with this role, too. Beautiful scenery. An under-rated feel-good family film!
Warning: Box of tissues useful when watching this movie as, amid the love and triumph, there is some gritty realism.
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