Executive producer Francis Coppola supervises director Carroll Ballard’s sumptuous 1979 film version of Walter Farley’s 1941 children’s classic novel about a boy’s adventures with the spirited Arab horse he saves from a shipwreck and takes to New York.
Kelly Reno makes an admirable little hero as young Alec and Best Supporting Actor Oscar-nominated Mickey Rooney turns in a charismatic, truthful performance as a once-successful, canny old trainer, Henry Dailey, while Teri Garr and Hoyt Axton add essential support as Alec’s mom and dad.
Boy and trainer then work to turn the Arabian stallion into a winner against the world’s fastest horses.
The compelling story in the screenplay by E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial’s Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg and William Witliff, the attractive acting and Caleb Deschanel’s ravishing cinematography add up to one of the best films for children in many years.
Also in the cast are Clarence Muse, Michael Higgins, Ed McNamara, Doghmi Larbi and Kristen Vigard.
The Black Stallion Returns followed in 1983, with Reno and Garr back.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4069
Check out more reviews on http://derekwinnert