7.3/10
6,456
72 user 20 critic

National Velvet (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Sport | 26 January 1945 (USA)
Trailer
2:07 | Trailer
A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Enid Bagnold (novel), Theodore Reeves (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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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:
Mickey Rooney ... Mi Taylor
Donald Crisp ... Mr. Brown
Elizabeth Taylor ... Velvet Brown
Anne Revere ... Mrs. Brown
Angela Lansbury ... Edwina Brown
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ... Donald Brown (as Jackie Jenkins)
Juanita Quigley ... Malvolia Brown
Arthur Treacher ... Race Patron
Reginald Owen ... Farmer Ede
Norma Varden ... Miss Sims
Terry Kilburn ... Ted
Arthur Shields ... Mr. Hallam
Aubrey Mather ... Entry Official
Alec Craig ... Tim
Eugene Loring ... I. Taski
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Storyline

Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney) 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 countryside home of the Brown family. The youngest daughter, Velvet (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Here it is! M-G-M's Great Heart Drama in TECHNICOLOR with with the screen's Most Breath-taking Climax! (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Palace Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - June 3, 1945) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title card reads: "England in the late nineteen twenties - a long time ago in a spinning world." See more »

Goofs

Mr. Brown, a butcher who should know better, authoritatively announces that one small-to-medium-sized lobster will provide a family dinner for six: A claw apiece for he and his wife, the entire tail (the meatiest part of the crustacean) for his picky young son who's a finicky eater and what's "in-between" (basically all of it's inedible entrails) for his three teenage daughters - with some left over for the dog! In reality, a lobster of that size would hardly feed one hungry person. See more »

Quotes

[Mi is trying to tell Velvet the "tricks" for the Grand National]
Velvet Brown: Don't, Mi! No matter what you say or do everyone else out there will know more than me. It's no use, Mi.
Mi Taylor: Do think a race like this is won by luck?
Velvet Brown: No, by knowing the Pi can win and telling him so!
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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 »


Soundtracks

Hielan Laddie
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

Magic
15 April 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

A lot of directors have broached childhood:Truffaut,Bunuel,Pialat,Comencini,Loach ,but no one did it as Clarence Brown used to do:his world is a rosy one ,a protected one where any dream can come true if you believe in it.Not realistic?Not that much :take "the yearling" for instance:the young hero's pal's death is not passed over in silence but Jody did tell him and us that somewhere in Heaven there are prairies full of coypus.In "National Velvet" ,the mother ,quoting the Book of Ecclesiastes ,tells her daughter that there's a time for everything,even a time to die.

Colors display something magic,closer to fairy tales than to a realistic story:this small town,with its colorful characters,its school where the teacher loves all of her students whom she's going to miss during the long holiday,its butcher's shop.The heroine's parents own it and their house suffuses with understanding,tenderness and love.The race is ,as far as Velvet is concerned , entirely implausible ,but it's nicely filmed.

A top-notch cast cannot fail to win over the audience:the couple Anne Revere/Donald Crisp are parents every child dreams of;Elizabeth Taylor has always been an underrated actress,to think that about 20 years later,she would be Martha in "who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?"!;Mickey Rooney 's pouty mouth and sullen expression avoid pathos and melodramatic effects.And there's also a young Angela Landsbury,long before "murder she wrote" ,on the threshold of a brilliant career.

It may not appeal to Today's children ,who got used to special effects and action-packed stories.But for the adults who've still got their child's soul,it's a true delight.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

National Velvet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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