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National Velvet Reviews

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Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2010
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.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2010
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?
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

August 25, 2006
John B

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2014
There is a curiosity in seeing Liz Taylor as a child actor and Mickey Rooney is always a delight but this film is pure kids' play. Nothing terribly memorable.

Super Reviewer

July 25, 2009
This was one of the first colour films. Liz Taylor as the girl in one of she?s first films. Good ethics of Velvet's parents, particularly her mother is something to take into account. Velvet loves the horses and racing them so Mi Taylor (Rooney) brought her to an international horse racing competition in England, where at the end the young Velvet won, but was disqualified because of being female.

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2006
This film can always give you a warm glow, but Taylor is way too earnest and the story way too inconceivable to be enjoyable.
February 12, 2013
Enjoyable film, but I was expecting something more from the hype this has been given. Elizabeth Taylor showed a little bit of the fire that we see from her in later roles, but a very subdued Mickey Rooney is the real highlight here--along with Donald Crisp and Anne Revere, as Velvet's parents. The storyline was not nearly as interesting (to me) as the portrayals. It seemed like a very run-of-the-mill sport storyline.
September 16, 2011
a typical warm, gooey 1940s movie with a bit of underdog sports movie thrown in. the story wasn't all that interesting, I didn't think, although the race itself is pretty exciting and there's some underrated character study going on as well. Rooney's character is right out of the cookie cutter (an old pro who can't get back in the game because of what happened "back then"), but he plays it really well. young Liz Taylor shows incredible grace and maturity for a pre-teen actress, but she actually got on my nerves a bit. that's probably due more to the writing than her, but still. I loved Anne Revere--a caring, sharp-witted mother with an actual life story and a benefit of experience that can be totally believed. overall, I don't love this movie, but I liked it more than I was expecting.
December 24, 2008
A classic story of a young girl and her passion for horses, which leads her to win the Grand National, one of the toughest horse races. One day, she notices a mischievious horse, called the Pie, and falls in love with him. Through circumstance, she becomes the owner of him through a raffle. Then, she finds out about the famous horse race, the Grand National. She determines to enter the Pie in it with the help of her friend Mi Taylor, who's a former jockey but has an aversion to horses because of an accident he had when racing. This movie is heartwarming and cheerworthy, with excellent performances by Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Tayler and of course, the Pie.
I can watch this movie over and over again and not get tired of it; every time I cheer for Velvet and the Pie at the end when they cross the finish line. And of course, I love the colorful Brown family, with sensible Mrs. Brown, slightly ignorant Mr. Brown, boy-crazy Regina, and adorable Donald.

"Violet...put that plate back in." "Oh, it aches me so."
January 14, 2008
Liz Taylor hits the big time in this beautiful story of a young girl and her faith and love for a horse. Great supporting cast. Timeless classic. Great movie for kids...even today!
May 22, 2007
"my heart just skips a beat! - Like Dwina's does for boys."
Classic. Definitely a "horse movie," which isn't my favorite type of flick, but it's a great movie nonetheless. Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor are fabulous.
May 8, 2007
This is one of my favorite movies! Elizabeth Taylor is so amazing in this. And I LOVE Mickey Rooney.
April 19, 2007
Mickey Rooney is loveable in this movie as a young man with a passion for the race. E.T. puts believable emotion in her role as a young miss with a passion for the equine.
April 18, 2007
A charming story about a girl and her horse-somewhat different from the book, but nice in its own way.
March 2, 2007
Great horse story... Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor are excellent... "I was sick all night" is my most used unrecognized quote, so more people should see this movie...
January 11, 2007
this is one of the best written, acted and most touching films of the era. a beautiful 1940's film. I LOVE IT
September 9, 2006
A girl's love for horses and her horse's trust in her take them to far lengths. Good performance by young Mickey Rooney.
February 28, 2014
the release date on this is incorrect - should be 1944
June 9, 2013
The classic feel good film. Though elements of the screenplay haven't dated well, like the near comical emphasis on the young girl's love for horses, National Velvet is a warm tale of friendship and determination as well as famously being the film which launched Elizabeth Taylor's glorious career.
January 11, 2013
Im in love with this movie! I was actually sad when it was over so i watched it again
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