Oct 17, 2009

The Black Stallion


The Black Stallion
1979

Tagline: From the moment he first saw the stallion, he knew it would either destroy him, or carry him where no one had ever been before...

I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen this movie, and oddly it never gets old. Going out on a limb, I'd say it's the best horse movie ever made, mainly because it is so visually stunning and all the characters spend so much of their time saying nothing. Honestly, so many horse movies are ruined the instant the main character opens their mouth, and considering this movie probably gives each character about a page of dialogue, we have little to no problem with ego and attitude from our characters. I love it.

Somehow, The Black Stallion doesn't fall into the all the worn out cliches. Alec doesn't fly into hysterics about how only he can understand The Black, and while The Black has inspired countless books and movies about horses that only love and respond to one person, The Black himself is understated. He's not the raging crazy thing you find in The Adventure of the Black Stallion, and it's certainly never stated outright that Alec is the be all and end all of The Black's existence. Because, through the entirety of the film, you have a feeling that he really isn't. The Black is wild first, and Alec is a good runner up. They certainly owe each other over their time on the island, and it's this beginning of the relationship that connects the rest of the movie, from shipwreck to match race.

Anyway, it's written by Melissa Mathison (of E.T. fame), and directed by Carroll Ballard. It was always going to be one of the best horse movies in existence, based on these two things alone. The Library of Congress agrees, having selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, calling it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

So, there you have it.

3 comments:

Molly said...

I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen this movie either. It's amazing, really, because as you say, there's very little dialogue, and we spend most of the movie watched a kid and a horse kind of run around aimlessly. Yet it enthralled me as a kid. I haven't seen it since childhood, because I'm kind of afraid I won't like it as much.

Schatzi said...

I'm pretty sure we rented this about once a week when i was little, back when there were more Beta movies than VHS on the shelves.

dustywhipp5 said...

Strangely enough, I really dislike this movie...