Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National Velvet (1944)

A young 12 year old girl (Elizabeth Taylor) with a passion for horses wins a horse in a lottery. With the help of a drifter (Mickey Rooney), she begins training the horse for the Grand National steeplechase. Directed by Clarence Brown, this is perhaps the greatest child and animal movie ever made with the possible exception of THE YEARLING (also directed by Brown). Few films capture that unique relationship children have with their pets and animals and this one does it marvelously with the mush kept to a minimum. It's that rarity, a "family" film that adults can genuinely enjoy as much as the children. Some claim that Taylor was never better than she is here and watching her touching, beautifully rendered performance, it's hard to put up an argument that it's not. Timeless isn't a word I use lightly but it seems apt for this wonderful film which I watched today as a tribute to Taylor who died this morning. The lovely score is by Herbert Stothart. With Angela Lansbury, Donald Crisp, Reginald Owen, Norma Varden, Butch Jenkins and in her well deserved Oscar winning performance, Anne Revere as Velvet's mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment