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THE BLACK STALLION

year: 1979 cast: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Hoyt Axton, Teri Garr rating: ****1/2
This could have been a silent film, relying on gorgeous visuals of an Arabian horse and his boy who meet on a ship and, after a horrifying wreck, are stranded on a desert island where the titular Stallion saves young Alec Ramsey's life, though still not trusting him till they eventually connect: the camera remaining underwater on both feet and hooves... then only hooves return to the beach. The bonding between horse and boy takes its time, and is not an easy process for either.

The visual treasure sustains in America where, after both are rescued, Kelly Reno's Alec meets Mickey Rooney as an ex jockey who, reluctant at first, trains boy and horse to win a big, and seemingly impossible, race.

Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, this magical adaptation, exceeding Walter Farely's creative but basic novel, flows in the iconic GODFATHER maverick's unique, masterful style.
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