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236 Ratings

The Black Stallion

Directed by Carroll Ballard
United States, 1979
Drama, Sport


This beautifully mounted adaptation of Walter Farley’s story for children tells the tale of Alec (Kelly Reno). While travelling back to the United States by ship, Alec discovers a wild, beautiful Arabian stallion being brought along in the cargo hold.

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The Black Stallion Directed by Carroll Ballard

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1980 | Winner: Special Achievement Award

1980 | 2 nominations including: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

BAFTA Awards

1981 | Nominee: Best Cinematography

Golden Globes (USA)

1980 | Nominee: Best Original Score - Motion Picture

The movie is a wonder; if you haven’t seen it, you must discover for yourself. This tale of a boy and his horse takes us from a Mediterranean shipwreck to an all-American midwestern town, circa 1940s, and manages to somehow find a perfect balance between lyrical meditation and exciting human drama. It is one of the great so-called children’s films of all-time: thrilling, nurturing, moving.
April 06, 2018
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The Black Stallion remains more than a rousing adventure—it’s an enchantment. The exploits of its boy hero, Alec (Kelly Reno), and his mighty black horse, the Black (Cass-Olé), overflow with primal and poetic sensations. Ballard’s work is emotionally as well as visually ravishing, whether the duo are struggling to survive the fiery wreck of a tramp steamer in storm-beaten seas, galloping across a desert island, or upending a storybook vision of small-city America circa 1946.
July 14, 2015
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A curious artifact from the unstable transitional period as the New Hollywood Cinema ceded to the early blockbuster era, the film owes the storybook simplicity of its visuals to the crystalline children’s films of Albert Lamorisse—most specifically 1952’s White Mane… The breakout effort from now-ubiquitous cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, The Black Stallion is a relentless procession of lavishly framed images, each one a marvel of compact visual storytelling.
July 14, 2015
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