The Black Stallion Returns (1983) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
13 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A surprisingly good film.
keithfox17 May 2003
For some unknown reason those whose profession it is to write reviews didn't think highly of this picture, but I found it amazingly well done. Kelly Reno was superb in his portrayal of a teenager who travels from New York all the way to the desert in Morocco in an attempt to retrieve his horse, kidnapped in New York and taken to Morocco. While the story is implausible, the ACTION and the filming and music are superb. See it, if you can.
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Alec Ramsey learns of his magnificent stallion's roots in this breath-taking 1983 film.
jenjinn21 January 2002
"The Black Stallion Returns" is one of my favorite novels, and one of my favorite films. Readers familiar with Walter Farley's saga will note several discrepencies between the books and the films, but that certainly does not detract from the enjoyment to be derived from this film. The cinematography is spectacular, and the Black is as gorgeous as ever, played by horses who capture the true spirit of Farley's legendary stallion. Kelly Reno's skills as an actor have vastly improved in this film, and it is wonderful to see the wide variety of characters that people the Black's world. In many ways, this film is richer than its predecessor ("The Black Stallion"), particularly in its soaring soundtrack that seems to have been custom-composed for the equestrian. Viewers who enjoy this film may also be interested in "The Miracle of the White Stallions," "The Man from Snowy River," and the 1994 production of "Black Beauty."
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lushly filmed, breathtaking adventure tale
Falconeer14 November 2009
The original was a favorite for me as a child. I think that is why i waited 20 years to see this, a sequel that I was sure would disappoint. I was wrong to wait so long to see a film that, in many ways, surpasses the original.

This amazing epic finds Alec Ramsey, the boy from the first film, traveling to the brutal and glorious Sahara desert , in search of his beautiful Arabian Stallion, who has been taken away by his original owners. Along the way Alec finds a good friend in Prince Raj, who takes the boy with him on an unforgettable quest that will lead them to the stallion, and also to a race like no other. With much attention given to small details, as well as set design and costumes, we learn the fascinating history of this very special horse. Every five years there is a great horse race in the Sahara desert, with different tribes racing their finest horses to win honour and respect from the others. A man from the Uruk tribe goes to dishonorable means to sabotage the race, while the Berber tribe, led by Prince Raj is more honorable in their methods. This film culminates in what has to be the most glorious and exciting race ever filmed, with young Alec and his best friend racing against each other, the boy for possession of his horse, and the Prince, for the honour of his people.

The film score, the cinematography, those gorgeous desert scenes all add up to an absolute classic adventure film. Perhaps this was not a commercial success because this sequel focuses more on the boy's plight, with the horse only making an appearance later into the film. Or more likely, perhaps the whole production was just too "foreign" for Western audiences back in 1983. Whatever the reason, fans of old fashioned adventure tales should give this a look. The actor who plays the teen Alec Ramsey obviously had an uncommon love for horses, and it shows in his genuine performance. Vincent Spano is great and totally believable, both in looks and performance as Raj, and the rest of the cast is fine as well. Filmed in Morrocco, and partially in Algeria lends this special film an epic look. Of course with something like this it is important to see it in it's original wide screen ratio. One of my favorite films now, it was worth that 20 year wait...
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Animal Welfare Questionable/Spoiler Alert
moon_creature16 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I am giving this movie a 1 although I haven't gotten done watching the whole thing yet. *Spoiler* --> I paused to read up on the film, to see if there were any comments on animal cruelty. The point where I stopped the film was when numerous ropes were thrown around the horse's neck (toward the end). While watching this, I could not help but think how extremely stressed out this horse was. When I looked up the IMDb info, I saw that this particular beautiful horse died of colic during the making of the film. I am not surprised, as this horse is put into so many highly stressful situations.... and that makes me very sad, and disgusted. If you do watch the film, you will see an amazingly intelligent horse, gorgeous. I would give this film 0 for considering welfare of El Mokhtar. There is no reason why any animal should die during a shoot. And, filming in and of itself is so stressful with numerous takes & "big egos". I can't imagine what this horse went through: Desert, stress, and it neighed/screamed a lot during the film. :'(
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Far" Adventure Story That Goes A Little Too Far & Long
ccthemovieman-128 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie started off really well, being very interesting, but once Alec (Kelly Reno) arrives in the desert, the story begins to bog down and it doesn't pick up until the horse race. Thus, this could have been much, much better cutting 20 minutes off.

Overall, it's a nice family with almost no profanity or anything else that might anyone. That climactic horse race was a disappointment, credibility-wise. They made it ridiculously dramatic with the jockey being slapped off his saddle by the villain, men in trucks shooting at the horses, etc. Nonetheless, even if the ending was nice, even if predictable. Do "good guys (and horses)" ever lose in the climactic race?

Reno's character was a headstrong-but-likable kid and the film is fine. It's just an average adventure story, hence the "fair" rating.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Boys adventure story...prettily photographed but a sequel nobody asked for
moonspinner5524 December 2016
Follow-up to the acclaimed 1979 film, regarding a young American lad in the 1940s who bonds with an Arabian stallion while shipwrecked on an island, picks up where its predecessor left off. The boy, having won a championship race while riding the Black, has his horse stolen by a sheik who claims the horse is actually his. Following the horse thieves, the kid stows away on a plane headed for Casablanca, where he learns the Black will be entered in a new competition. Although the horse is the same (except for the racing shots) and the kid (Kelly Reno) is the same, director Carol Ballard from the first film is missing, and one can sense almost immediately that "The Black Stallion Returns" is without Ballard's dreamy pace and caressing images (here, Robert Dalva sets up individual scenes with a ham-fisted directness that makes the whole enterprise seem perfunctory, and he has no talent whatsoever with actors). Since the story is a washout, there's nothing to occupy one's interest except for the technical accomplishments, including Carlo di Palma's fine, if inexpressive, cinematography and Georges Delerue's lovely score. As for the performances, Reno doesn't have a professional actor's polish (which is both pro and con), but Allen Goorwitz (Garfield), playing the sheik's competitor for the Black (an Arab named Kurr!), is hopelessly if amusingly miscast as the proverbial cackling-villain; Vincent Spano (as Moroccan an actor as money could buy) is equally out-of-place as Reno's desert friend, while Teri Garr returns in a walk-on as Reno's mother (it's even less of a cameo than she had the first time). Not terrible, certainly, but a turgid adventure, trotting out aged stereotypes and a formula finale. *1/2 from ****
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great family film involving Arabs - to counter the usual racist trash
si4abetterworld6 February 2010
A great family film, about a boy from the U.S.A. and a horse from Arabia. The boy meets and befriends Arabs and Muslims and rides the horse in a grueling Arab marathon horse race.

What is most important about this film is that it is that rare gem: a Hollywood film that shows Arabs and Muslims realistically: as human beings, instead of depicting them as terrorists or fanatics, which is what Hollywood usually does (see the documentary "Reel Bad Arabs" for more about that topic). After all, the reality is that most Muslims are not terrorists or fanatics.

This film helps people to appreciate ethnic diversity, instead of hating what is different... therefore, unlike many media portrayals of Arabs and Muslims, the film helps to increase peace and harmony in the world.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A delightful film with an amazing score
lilchristian2430 December 2013
I also do not understand how this film did not get better reviews. This is a movie I grew up with and one of the few films in that category that I do not just keep around for sentimental reasons; I love it just as much as an adult as I did the first time I saw it. The filming location is wonderful, Kelly Reno's acting is superb, and it has the most amazing score that always tugs on my heart and makes me want to close my eyes and throw my arms wide just to feel the wind on my face. As a result, it is one of the few sequels that is better than the original. In short, The Black Stallion Returns is a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable movie; a great watch for everyone.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The patina of age has turned this into a classic.
spidey_man17 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's been 20 years since I watched this movie. Twenty years of bad plots and toilet humor. This movie stands the test of time and gets better and better, a true coming-of-age movie in the classic sense of a boy growing up to make a man's decision.

The final scene, the horse race in Moroccow, reflects Alex's future. He has pursued The Black with a single-minded purpose. He now has the ability of keeping The Black, but only if he wins the race. He must win not only for himself, but for the tribe of Abu Ben Ishak. But to win the race, he will harm is friend, Raj, who he crossed the desert with in his trek to find The Black. In the end, Alex finds himself making a grown-up choice for himself, The Black, and his adopted tribe.

Kello Reno displayed a genuineness sadly lacking in young actors now. Vincent Spano's role as Raj is done with a subtle dignity for Arab culture, and the movie reflects it. And of course, Cass Ole and El Mokhtar are magnificent as The Black. Last but not least, the score written by Georges Delerue is wonderful.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A bit of a disappointment...
gsmishka20 August 2006
The moderate financial success of the excellent original 'Black Stallion' movie almost guaranteed a sequel considering the series of novels of available source material.

Unfortunately, the absence of Carroll Ballard's unique vision reduce this effort to a by-the-numbers horse-and-boy adventure story which is likely to be of interest to children only. So, we get a welcome return of 'The Black' and Alec Ramsey, but sadly, the magic is mostly gone.

I have only read the first few pages of the book 'The Black Stallion'. It is obvious that the book is a good children's' story and that Mr Farley's legacy has been to encourage reading in several generations of American children. I suspect that this sequel movie, with its more conventional storytelling approach is closer to Mr Farley's works than the first movie, but this does not make for memorable cinema.

Mr Ballard must have turned this one down, because I can't imagine that he was not offered the director's chair given the reception the first movie received. Maybe he didn't like the 'action movie' script? He seems to be very particular about the movies he makes.

Performances here are generally lacklustre and there is one particularly bad hammy supporting actor turn - if you've seen this, you know who I mean.

One part of me can't help but wish that they hadn't bothered with this. It doesn't spoil the original exactly, but the excellence of the first 'Black Stallion' movie so far outshines this effort that you wonder quite what the point of this was, other than a quick cash-in at the box-office.

One point of excellence - Georges Delerue's theme 'Alec and The Black Stallion' is a wonderful soaring score and could have been a welcome addition to the original movie soundtrack.

Your kids will probably enjoy this. Your mind will probably wander...

1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Desert
latsblaster25 April 2003
"The Black Stallion Returns" is shot in 1.85:1, and I saw it in 1.33:1 because of the TV-network cut it down as usual. "The Black Stallion Returns" is a cinema-movie, you should see this on the big screen but after all, this should be done in 2.35:1 instead. This doesn't mean that the movie is bad because of the wrong format, but it would be more powerful in a wider one, as long as the cinematographer would handle it together with the director (I think they would). One of the reasons why it is shot in 1.85:1 might be that the first film was in that format too.

The story is faster and the film is shorter than it could be. After a standard opening, all gets better. And soon Alec, the main character reaches the desert, which is the reason why I wanted to see this movie. This isn't "Lawrence of Arabia" by David Lean, I know that, but the desert scenes are beautiful. And it is because of this scenes I like this movie. Everything started with photos from this film that I saw as a kid. The impression was that the desert was beautiful, or could be shown as beautiful. I should have seen "Lawrence of Arabia" already when I was younger, maybe I would have liked it even more than. For me, "The Black Stallion Returns" could have more and also slower desert scenes than it has, without getting a bit boring.

"The Black Stallion Returns" is actually shot in Morocco, North Africa. The cinematography is not poor, far from. But some of the characters could be better done. The choice of Woody Strode as Meslar was perfect, but he isn't used as good as I hoped. Alan Garfield doesn't amuse as Kurr, a villain, I had hoped that Kurr would be cooler and more menacing. Kelly Reno is a bit weak but at least okay as Alec, but Vincent Spano is cool as the Arabian prince.

The music by Georges Delerue is a bit unequal but at times very good.

The best parts of this movie are without doubts the desert scenes, including the horse race in the end (even if I think it should have been even better).

If you hate horses (why should you?) you can't like this, but otherwise it isn't that hard to enjoy this movie, even if it gets very emotional and describe the relationship between Alec and Black as close as a relation can be, which is booth fascinating and perhaps irritating. Here the direction shows what it really wants to show: emotions, admiration, love, friendship and almost worship from Alec to the Black. In that chase, the director (Robert Dalva) has succeeded.

"The Black Stallion Returns" is first of all a movie for a younger audience than me. That is why I see so many ways how it could have been even better, a more "hard core" movie with a harder, more action-filled tune and an even stronger adventure-feeling in style with perhaps my favorite from this time; "Conan the Barbarian". This would be a movie that was perhaps fitting a wider audience, or at least another.

I saw "The Black Stallion Returns" before I saw 'The Black Stallion', I think that is the best way to enjoy this sequel (it is somehow rather independent from the first one).

(Goofs:) Couldn't Kurr's Uruk men have killed the stallion instead of letting it survive or did they want it to survive? This is not clearly explained.

Rating: 6 of 10.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
More worries and tears
Punk1917 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Alec Ramsey(Kelly Reno)has the best horse in the world. He's fast, trainable and friendly. But when he finds out that someone is trying to kill his beloved friend he cracks. Soon The Blacks real owner shows up. He takes him home beside all Alec's wishes. So what does Alec do? He follows Abu Ben Ishak(Ferdy Mayne) to his home and begs for his horse back only to find that the horse is the be entered in a race. Alec decides to ride The Black in the race and wins.

This movie makes everyone tearry because at the end Alec decides to give his priced possession back to his rightful owner. But the thing is that Abu doesn't tell Alec about The Blacks breeding to Johar and about the new foal about to come. That's the only bad part.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
TheLittleSongbird25 August 2011
Is The Black Stallion Returns as good as the original? Not quite. The original is a masterpiece, that said this is a wonderful sequel and one of the better ones I've seen recently. The story while having a different focus than the original has some implausible and sluggish moments but many other parts are believable and touching. The script is well written, the direction is competent and the acting from Kelly Reno and Vincent Spano(and the horse) is pretty much superb. However, the best assets of The Black Stallion Returns are the sumptuous visuals and beautiful score. All in all, a wonderful sequel and movie. 9/10 Bethany Cox
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed