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The Black Stallion
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The Black Stallion (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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The Black Stallion -- Teri Garr and Mickey Rooney star in this heartwarming adventure about a boy who forges a special friendship with a wild stallion after both are shipwrecked on a deserted island.


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7.4/10   8,697 votes »
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Up 43% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Melissa Mathison (screenplay) &
Jeanne Rosenberg (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Black Stallion on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 October 1979 (USA) See more »
While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Much more than a children's movie... See more (89 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kelly Reno ... Alec Ramsey

Mickey Rooney ... Henry Dailey

Teri Garr ... Alec's Mother

Clarence Muse ... Snoe

Hoyt Axton ... Alec's Father
Michael Higgins ... Neville
Ed McNamara ... Jake
Doghmi Larbi ... Arab (as Dogmi Larbi)
John Burton ... Jockey #1
John Buchanan ... Jockey #2
Kristen Vigard ... Becky
Fausto Tozzi ... Rescue Captain
John Karlsen ... Archeologist (as John Karlson)
Leopoldo Trieste ... Priest
Frank Cousins ... African Chieftain
Donald Hodson ... Taurog (as Don Hudson)

Marne Maitland ... Drake Captain
Tom Dahlgren ... Veterinarian
Cass-Olé ... The Black Stallion
Junior ... Additional Horse
Star ... Additional Horse
Fae-Jur ... Additional Horse
Olympic ... Additional Horse
Rex ... Additional Horse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Henning ... Danny (uncredited)

Directed by
Carroll Ballard 
Writing credits
Melissa Mathison (screenplay) &
Jeanne Rosenberg (screenplay) and
William D. Wittliff (screenplay)

Walter Farley (novel)

Walter Murch  uncredited

Produced by
Francis Ford Coppola .... executive producer
Fred Roos .... producer
Tom Sternberg .... producer
Original Music by
Carmine Coppola 
Cinematography by
Caleb Deschanel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Dalva 
Art Direction by
Aurelio Crugnola 
Earl G. Preston  (as Earl Preston)
Production Management
Ted Holliday .... production manager
Ned Kopp .... production manager: additional photography, Oregon
Alessandro von Norman .... production manager (as Alessandro von Normann)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Doug Claybourne .... assistant director
David Earl .... second assistant director: Canada
Jim Kaufman .... second assistant director: Canada
Robert McCart .... second assistant director: Canada (as Bob McCart)
Art Department
Maria-Teresa Barbasso .... assistant art director
Robert Blackgoat .... storyboard artist
Kevin Hughes .... assistant property master
Sound Department
Todd Boekelheide .... sound editor
Richard Burrow .... sound editor
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Ann Kroeber .... sound effects recordist
Steve Maslow .... sound re-recording mixer
Bob Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Luciano Muratori .... boom operator: Italy
Primiano Muratori .... sound engineer in Italy
John Nutt .... dialogue editor
Diana Pellegrini .... sound editor
Alan Splet .... supervising sound editor
Stephen Stept .... sound editor
Elliot Tyson .... foley mixer
Bill Varney .... sound re-recording mixer
Barbara McBane .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Duncan McEwan .... sound recordist (uncredited)
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Carlo Guici .... stunt trainer: Italian Unit
Sergio Mioni .... stunts
Glenn Randall Jr. .... stunt coordinator (as Glenn 'J.R.' Randall)
Jesse Wayne .... stunt double: Mickey Rooney
Roark Wearing .... stunt double: Kelly Reno
Camera and Electrical Department
Eraldo Barbona .... grip
Stephen H. Burum .... photographer: second unit
Robert Dalva .... additional photographer
Alan Gornick .... underwater cinematographer (as Allan Gornick Jr.)
Casting Department
Stuart Aikins .... casting: Canada
Vic Ramos .... casting: USA
Clare Walker .... casting: Canada
Editorial Department
Todd Boekelheide .... associate editor
Nancy Jencks .... assistant editor
Diana Pellegrini .... associate editor
Music Department
Daniel Allan Carlin .... music editor (as Dan Carlin Jr.)
Daniel Allan Carlin .... music supervisor (as Dan Carlin Jr.)
Jeff Carson .... music editor
Shirley Walker .... composer: additional music
Dan Wallin .... score mixer
Bob Badami .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Jerry Brown .... wrangler
Bill Corcoran .... location manager: Canada
Rory Enke .... location scout
Tim Farley .... production assistant
Deborah Fine .... assistant to producer
Karen Frerichs .... tutor
Jack Fritz .... executive assistant
Beryl Harvey .... production co-ordinator
Colin Michael Kitchens .... production assistant
Shelly McKinney .... wrangler
Bruce Moriarty .... wrangler
Sherry Nisewaner .... assistant to producer
Valerie O'Conor .... consultant: horse sounds (as Valerie Koutnik)
Valerie O'Conor .... production assistant (as Valerie Koutnik)
Rex Peterson .... wrangler
Glenn H. Randall Sr. .... wrangler (as Glenn Randall Sr.)
Bruce Randall .... wrangler
Corky Randall .... horse trainer
Liz Randol .... staff (as Liza Randol)
Bud Reno .... wrangler
Frank Simeone .... additional crew
Michael Uslan .... production attorney (as Michael E. Uslan)
Gene Walker .... wrangler
Bruce Moriarty .... trainer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
118 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

The first location in Sardinia was near the town of Marina di Arbus, where the horses were transported by a van containing portable stalls that were set up near the filming site, and the crew had to hand-carry the cameras and other equipment over the sand dunes. That situation was repeated at various other locations all over Sardinia, with exposure to sun, sand, sea and dysentery causing considerable discomfort for the crew. Other locations there included Capo Caccia, Capo Camino, Costa Paradiso, Cala Ganone and San Teodoro, which sported a mile-long stretch of fine white sand that was perfect for the boy's first ride on the stallion. Temperatures in Sardinia could become quite cold, and Reno shivered through scenes where he wore little clothing and was often in the water.See more »
Continuity: When Alec is being rescued, he is in the lifeboat clinging to the horse. The horse is hesitant to enter the water. When the horse finally does enter the water it is already completely wet.See more »
[first lines]
Alec Ramsey:Dad... you know what I saw? It's the most fantastic thing... come look!
Mr. Ramsey:[to the other poker players] My son.
Mr. Ramsey:Hey! Look, son, I'll tell you, I'm really busy, but... I'll tell you what I do need. I need some good luck.
See more »
Movie Connections:


How did production keep the cobra from striking Alec or The Black?
When does the story take place?
Who played The Black?
See more »
69 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
Much more than a children's movie..., 2 December 2004
Author: consubandon from Brooklyn, New York

This film is offered as children's fare. That does not matter to me. It succeeds as an professionally presented film for adults.

I am in no position to bellyache about how little it resembles Walter Farley's children's book. I have read some of the book. The book does not interest me.

Neither does its set-up for whatever sequels interest me. They were, by most accounts, mediocre.

This film, "The Black Stallion", holds a great deal more for me than most other pictures.

The film is one of the most powerfully beautiful sets of moving images I have ever seen on screen conjoined with sumptuous music and gently mesmerizing performances. Its editing awards, cinematography awards, and the awards for its music all were well deserved.

From the wreckage of the "Drake" through the lengthy bonding of boy and horse on the island, through to their rescue, not a word is spoken. It is one of the longest, most intensely cast verbal negative spaces in film. Civilization is dispensed with, language is removed, layers of meaning are stripped; there is no intellectual comfort on which to fall back. Into that emptiness fall the sound of waves and wind and rain as though natural extensions of Carmine Coppola's exquisite score. The film's soundtrack is wonderfully uncomplicated and moving. The island sequences are visited by small groups of instruments in turn -- a harp here, primitive percussion there, minimal woodwinds; no brass intrudes for a long time -- in musical experiments of loneliness yielding to companionship that echo the tentative meetings of the boy and the horse.

Such negative spaces abound in "The Black Stallion", carved from the soundtrack (the roar and crush of sound in the midst of the final race sequence blur out into a blissful, quiet emptiness touched lightly by flute and brass), washed clean of visuals (for the bulk of one critical scene, horse and boy, the centers of attention, disappear, literally, and focus is on the tiniest details of ticking watch hands and empty sheets of translucent night rain), and opened at great lengths in the dialogue: Alec's mother responds to her son's plea with a tortured delay and Teri Garr, in remarkable performance, draws out her strangely active non-speech for many long seconds before her two-word reply closes this particular negative space with the thunderclap of a rushing locomotive and the thrust of a guitar as the soundtrack slams back in.

The final burst of joy from the island sequence's soundtrack is so magnificent, so full and compelling, it is odd to listen, carefully, to its hesitant introduction as the horse finally permits the boy to mount: small flicks at the harp joined by a reed or two before the tympani knock insistently to tell us something miraculous has happened.

And we need that wake up call: We have to come up for air. Our vantage point for Alec's first ride begins *under water*. We see only six legs and, then, much boiling and thrashing in a scene that is as intimate and anticipatory as only the best love scenes ever filmed. And this *is* a love scene, in every sense. The charging aerial streamings and broad panning shots that follow the boy and the horse and the forces of nature, the sand and ocean through which they tear, convey as deep a physicality as in any love scene.

This film, with its powerful sensory immersion, offers much about love and tenderness and touch and connectedness to an audience inclined to forget that most motive force in life comes through the union of dissimilar entities and the experience of sex is, at its fullest, not just about bodies conjoined: it's also about longing and belonging and trust and completion though union with one's chosen and preferred. "The Black Stallion", G rating and all, is one of the most powerfully sexy films ever made. It offers every amended glory possible in any sexual relationship that proceeds past involvement of 'the plumbing'.

In both illustration and disclosure of why this film means so much to me, I might as well mention I was 38 the last time I watched this movie, my first viewing of it in many years. The young lady with me had never heard of it. When, at its end, she turned to hot, liquid sunshine in my arms, weeping in amazement, not fully understanding why she'd been so moved, we began a romance that has refused easy definition ever since -- but I cannot imagine a stronger bond. The magic of this film perfectly mirrored the best possible feelings within us. A kid's movie? Sure, if you say so.

This is a wonderful film. It will not push or drag you. But watch -- and listen -- closely and let it take you where it can and it will amaze you.

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the sinking of the ship jthomas5
Beautiful photography, but BORING! SusanJL
The Best Film For Young Boys Ever Made? NiKoDay
What is you favorite scene in this movie? jamesolio
Carroll Ballard is a Great Director in his own right, BUT... Napoleonforever
Did Alec have a slight stutter? ShiningSeal
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