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 both he and the horse survive only to be stranded on a desert island. He befriends it, so when finally rescued, both return to his home where they soon meet Henry Dailey, a once-successful trainer. Together they begin training the stallion to race against the fastest horses in the world.Written by
None of the equine doubles liked being in the water, so horses were brought in from the lagoons of Camargue in France for the underwater shots of the Black swimming in the sea. Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel recalled in an interview that the swimming horses "had pot bellies and incredibly ugly faces." But when they "came into the water and started swimming, they looked unbelievably graceful. They were the ugliest animals you've ever seen, but underwater...they were like Nijinsky." The crew nicknamed these horses Pete and Repete because of the numerous takes required to get the appropriate underwater footage. See more »
When Alec is being rescued in the lifeboat and calls the horse, he first shouts "Black!" with his mouth moving accordingly, then "Come on!" without any articulation. See more »
Dad... you know what I saw? It's the most fantastic thing... come look!
[to the other poker players]
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.
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The 1998 VHS release plasters the 1976 United Artists logo with the 1994 United Artists logo. See more »
A beautiful film about solitude, interdependence, survival, and achievement.
The first thing that strikes you when you see "The Black Stallion" is its cinematography. However the vivid colours are only the doorway into the film. It is important to remember that the title is not "The Stallion" but "The Black Stallion". It is the title's first announcement of bold colour and the connotations of power in "Stallion" that introduce a richness of dichotomies. There is the black horse and the white boy (would the film really have been the same with the ubiquitous white horse?). There is the contrast between the horse's power and the boy's frailty. The scenes on the island and the scenes in the city. Indeed, the film's running time is almost split down the middle between this last contrast. There is also the contrast between the boy and the old man he befriends, and many others. But most importantly, there is the contrast between solitude and companionship. There are a lot of lonely characters in this film. Everyone from the horse to the boy, to the trainer to the boy's mother seem to be trying to struggle through life on their own. It is this quest to deal with loneliness that is the film's most profound achievement. It is not so much a condemnation of solitude as an analysis between its benefits compared to the benefits of companionship. Whether or not "The Black Stallion" answers these questions is something the viewer will have to decide for themselves. I believe the film asks more questions than it answers. Although some may find the film's ending a bit too predictable and sacharine tasting, the overall effect of the film's beauty and its questions concerning solitude and survival, erase any minor faults the movie may contain. Part "Androcles and the Lion" and part "National Velvet", "The Black Stallion" is more than a childrens' movie. It brings together the "blackness" (as in the black void of space) of loneliness with the stallion's individual power to show how all of us are alone in a fundamental way but that we also have an ability within us to not only survive but draw great things from it. We can fulfill through our particular skills and abilities the necessary requirement of helping each other without losing the strength we receive from our individual independence and uniqueness.
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