National Velvet (1944)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

National Velvet Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Although National Velvet was the first starring role for 11-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, the early part of the film belongs to Mickey Rooney in the showier role of Mike Taylor, a headstrong English ex-jockey. Soured on life by a serious accident, Mike plans to steal from the country family that has taken him in, but his resolve is weakened by the kindness of young Velvet (Taylor). The two find a common bond in their love of horses. Velvet wins an "unbreakable" horse in a raffle, and enters the … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Enid Bagnold, Helen Deutsch, Theodore Reeves
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 11, 2000
MGM Home Entertainment


as Velvet Brown

as Mi Taylor

as Mr. Brown

as Mrs. Brown

as Edwina Brown

as Donald Brown

as Farmer Ede

as Malvolia Brown

as Mr. Taski

as Miss Sims

as Mr. Hallam

as Mr. Greenford

as Entry Official

as Man with Umbrella

as Van Driver

as Constable

as Entry Clerk

as Englishman

as Jockey

as American

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolgirl

as Schoolboy

as Schoolboy

as Schoolboy

as Schoolboy

as English Bookie

as Track Official

as Villager

as Pressman

as Villager

as Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for National Velvet

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Critic Reviews for National Velvet

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

Pandro Berman, the producer, and Clarence Brown, the director, have made it into a conservatively exciting and engaging film whose chief virtue is its acting, especially a letter-perfect, beautifully felt performance by Mickey Rooney as the jockey.

Full Review… | August 31, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

National Velvet is not merely sure to delight children and the child in most adults; it is also an interesting psychological study of hysterical obsession, conversion mania, preadolescent sexuality.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A good movie for kids and armchair Freudians.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

National Velvet is a horse picture with wide general appeal. The production also focuses attention on a new dramatic find -- moppet Elizabeth Taylor.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

This is a charmer for boys and girls of all ages, with a captivating performance from the young Liz Taylor as Velvet.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This fresh and delightful Metro picture, based on Enid Bagnold's novel of some years back, tells by far the most touching story of youngsters and of animals since Lassie was coming home.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for National Velvet


A giant cup full of feel good. Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, two of the greatest child actors to grace the silver screen, are put together to make one of the more beautiful of trainer-athlete pairings on screen. Anne Revere as the incomparable Mrs. Brown gained an Oscar for her role, and rightly so. Watch with family, because that's what thje movie's about. That and the Pie.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


A warm and fuzzy family film about a young girl's love of her horse and her pursuit of a win at the Grand Nationals horse race. This stars an incredibly beautiful 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, and Donald Crisp as the curmudgeonly but lovable father, Mr. Brown.

There are some scenes that are TOO coincidental, such as how Velvet (Taylor) acquires the horse to begin with, and how the results of the race are decided. Why take the long way around? We know she's going to win the horse or we'd have no movie. Why tiptoe around the obvious? The race itself, consisting of jumps over hedges and ditches, is breathtaking. A number of horses don't complete the jumps, jockeys are thrown or fall from their horses, and the recording of this event makes you feel you're actually there. Kind of a Ben-Hur feel to it in some ways.

Mickey Rooney was a hugely talented actor as a child, and he doesn't disappoint here. He is by turns sweet or bossy or calculating or afraid. He has a wonderful series of scenes with character actor Arthur Treacher as they watch the race progress.

I've always found Elizabeth Taylor's early performances a little too saccharine for my tastes, but she has a glow in her face and her voice that you can't help but be drawn to. Small children, especially horse-obsessed little girls, will like this, and it's good enough that adults won't be pulling their hair out while watching it.

The main theme at the time was probably about going after your dreams, and it is that. But Velvet's talk with her mother (Anne Revere) about those dreams also holds a feminist message -- that women can do anything men can do. What better message could there be for little girls?

Cindy I

Super Reviewer


Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

National Velvet Quotes

– Submitted by Pamela B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Pamela B (3 years ago)

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