The Black Stallion Reviews
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.