The Black Stallion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Stallion Reviews

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½ May 3, 2017
There were a lot of very intelligent decisions that went into the making of The Black Stallion. I appreciated that they hired a boy for the lead role that was highly experienced at riding horses, because it allowed them to film all the riding scenes without having to use obvious stunt doubles, or awkward trick photography. Then, because they had a rookie actor, they devised a script that limited his dialogue. In fact, one of the most interesting things about The Black Stallion is that it is a silent film for at least half the run-time. It was a story that didn?t need a lot of exposition, and I almost wish they would have leaned into that and included even less dialogue.

Now this method of storytelling meant that the score did some heavy lifting in setting mood, and keeping us distracted from the silence. I have to applaud Carmine Coppola for doing such a spectacular job with the music, because it had some memorable themes and avoided excessive repetition. I thought the scenes on the deserted island were magical, and perfectly sold the bond between boy and horse that would be at the heart of the rest of the movie. The races at the end of the film were also quite magical with the way the music sets the tone of what is happening, and because of the inventive camera angles utilized.

There are some issues with The Black Stallion, that?s for sure. The biggest problem is the mother played by Teri Garr. It?s not that she plays the role poorly, but because they establish a mother figure then we are left to wonder any time Alec does something abnormal (like running away) what is his mother doing. It?s very distracting, and they never address any of this stuff, so it creates a strange disconnected relationship between mother and son. This makes her presence in the final scene confusing, because I never saw her invested in the racing before. I almost wish they never addressed whether Alec had a parent left, because it wasn?t necessary for the story they were telling.

There were a few other needless scenes that I think they could have taken out as well. One of the big ones was when Alec meets with Snoe and is told that the stallion needs to be set free. It confuses the final act and makes you puzzle over what would be a proper resolution to the story. It also feels like the movie drags in spots, so that?s the other reason I think they could have cut some of the less important scenes. I was somewhat swept up in the charm of the story, so I forgave a lot of the flaws, but they certainly exist. I could see myself suggesting The Black Stallion to others, because it is a simple story told in a magical and simple way, but it?s not one I?ll revisit all that often.
May 2, 2017
Not my favorite movie I'm not a fan of this movie. But other people may like it. I saw it when I was Younger and I was not a fan of it
April 28, 2017
This movie was very well done for 1979. If you want a non-graphic movie for your kids that is about horses, this is the movie for you. If you read the book and wanted to see the movie, I suggest you skip this one. The movie was all by Francis Ford Coppola basically. Some was from the book, most of it was not. Francis wanted a good movie for all ages and got one. All in all it was a good movie and you probably should give it a try
½ April 28, 2017
I adore this movie. It is a great movie that has similarities from the story. It was good but I would say that their were way more differences from the book and the movie. Walter Farley, (the creator of the book) trained the Black and how to move him but he did not get much other say. It was like how sometimes when a book/ game is made into a movie it turns out to be not great. All in all, I would recommend it but don't get your hopes up.
April 28, 2017
I give it a 4 out of 5 because the movie is A LOT different from the book; the plot, how the characters meet,how alec is rescued from the island, etc I could name 20 more differences but I gtg
April 28, 2017
I would have liked to see the boat ride home. But other than that I liked this movie.
November 30, 2016
Classic! Part of The Criterion Collection and on Blu-ray.
September 11, 2016
A gorgeous film. The first half is visual storytelling at its finest. Ballard is great at capturing landscapes (Never Cry Wolf) and writer Melissa Matheson understands how to move people with just a few precious images. She also wrote E.T. and Scorsese's Kundun. The second half of The Black Stallion isn't as remarkable but it still has a beautiful story. Every kid needs to grow up with this film.
½ August 31, 2016
Pritty good still, looks great in dvd format
½ March 6, 2016
One of my childhood favorites!
½ January 5, 2016
Starts out very well with a few surprising scenes and loads of promise, when it turns into a predictable sport film you feel so disappointed. It's almost as if the author was rushed to finish the second half of the book. Such a shame.
August 25, 2015
Stunning in every imaginable way; this horse story begins, progresses, and ends with surprises; combining multiple genres to produce a narrative that would set the standard for dozens to follow.
August 6, 2015
Probably the best movie I have ever seen. Beauty in it's most simple form, unforced and natural. The Criterion 4K restoration is breathtaking. A perfect film!
July 28, 2015
The Black Stallion is a reasonable family film about the bond between a young boy and an Arabian stallion
June 3, 2015
Anyone who hates this movie is not paying attention, or thinks to much of themselves (NYT, TIME, etc.). Beautifully crafted, Zoetrope Studios does it again. There is a reason beautiful movies appear again and again and again, and it has nothing to do with "nuance".
May 30, 2015
A horse running. For two hours. Come on!
½ February 18, 2015
The horse movie, a long-lived and much-loved movie genre, probably has no more exquisite or engrossing a representative than "The Black Stallion" (1979). It has a transporting power that can engage a receptive imagination in the way that only the best movies can. With its exceptional cinematography by Caleb Deschanel and the splendidly played interactions between horse and boy, this is one of the most beautiful films of all time and a moving celebration of the bonds that can be shared by animals and humans.
November 21, 2014
Poor movie adaption of a great book.
October 23, 2014
Good quality show for all ages. About a miraculous story of survival and bonding between a boy and his horse. Then it culminates in a great horse race that overcomes all odds.
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