Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
The Black Stallion
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…
While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion that is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks both he and the horse survive only to be stranded on a deserted island. He befriends it, so when finally rescued both return to his home where they soon meet Henry Dailey, a once successful trainer. Together they begin training the horse to race against the fastest ones in the world.
Beautifully cinematic. Poetic and propulsive. Acted with nuance and tenderness instead of ego (and that includes a surprisingly quiet performance by Mickey Rooney). Never condescends to its viewers, young or old. Edited so perfectly, it is somehow both efficient and contemplative. Devoid of laborious exposition. Packed with iconic images. With the exception of one slightly annoying characterization*, it exists almost outside of time, without aspects that date when it was made. Alec, played with extraordinary restraint by Kelly Reno, remains one of the most naturalistic, convincing young boys I've seen in a movie; it's a performance that came to mind watching the boys in The Tree of Life (which I mean as a high compliment).
This was one of the…
The Black Stallion is a mystical jewel of a film. Despite some instances of disconnected acting and craftsmanship amidst chaos that fundamentally fray around the edges, The Black Stallion offers a visually propelled abundance of mythic cinematic catharsis and disarming naivety set to spellbind young and old. It stands up to reputation as a mercurial slice of arty cinema for children, miraculously put together on a pittance budget, which boldly pursues dialogue-light visual diction, defies logic, praises classicism and touches upon greatness.
The Black Stallion pulls off the trick of making you feel young again, intoxicated by the vast, rich mysteries contained in the world around you. The most serene and unforgettable portion of the film is undoubtedly the marooned…
For the first hour Carroll Ballard's "The Black Stallion" is a deeply felt and poetic fairytale of a shipwrecked boy befriending a wild horse on a desert island, all beautifully filmed by Caleb Deschanel. Once the boy and horse make it make back to the United States, the film begins a long formulaic march to the predicable finale. This film would be a masterpiece if all the horse racing bullshit had been removed and ended 60 minutes in.
Have you ever seen a movie and wished that certain scenes would never end? That's how i felt whilst seeing the first half of this movie which is a perfect marriage of sound and cinematography. I had the same experience when i saw the first segment of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train.Not a bad movie per se since the second half is the usual triumph against all odds which we all have seen countless times. I loved the relationship between man and animal.How can you not feel thrilled at the climax?
@Aaron King watched this a few months ago, and when he did, I added it to my mental watchlist. The Criterion Blu went on sale, so I popped on it, and I am very glad I did. This is a pretty unique film, and it's like having a cinematic 6 course meal. The first half might as well be called Film Ape's Sweet Spots: The Motion Picture and the second half ain't half bad either.
This movie, man...
I remember my grandmother showing it to me when I was a kid. I would watch it again and again, and I just loved the sounds and sights of it... Like most movies when I was a kid, I paid little attention to the story, the dialogue and all that stuff, and just was interested in how entertaining the sights and sounds could be to me. and this entertained excellently. For some reason, when I think back to it, the first thing I think of are those little sugar cubes that the boy gives to the horse near the beginning. don't know why exactly. This was my first time seeing since I was a child, this time…
I have vague memories of watching The Black Stallion when I was a kid (my memories of the sequel, The Black Stallion Returns, are much clearer), but I hadn't seen it since then. When it showed up on Amazon Prime recently, I was excited to watch it again with my kids to see how it looks now. But the real reason I was looking forward to watching it again is that I absolutely love Carroll Ballard's later film, Never Cry Wolf, and I wanted more movies like that. The Black Stallion is the first of the (only!) six full-length feature films that Ballard has directed. I assume that the small oeuvre is one of the reasons that Ballard's name has…
The fact that no one mentions the first 45 minutes of The Black Stallion in the same breath as the first 30 minutes of Wall-E is a travesty.
I typically don't much care for movies like this, but this was absolutely magical. One of the warmest films I've ever seen. Every frame isn't just beautiful, but wholly inviting. No unnecessary drama, just a cast of really likable characters and a whole lot of heart. Odd music choices, and wraps up a bit too quickly, but damn, this has some of the truest friendships I've seen in a movie.
Family movie night. I took advantage of the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale and got this for the kids.
Such a beautiful film... It's almost as if it's Malick's childrens film. It may seem a little too triumphant, but I think it gets away with it because of the sense of magic that seems to linger throughout the film.
It's ultimately a celebration of life and the connection between living things. I don't mean this in a PETA type of sense - or in even a more nefarious sense, but I do think the bond between people and animals is pretty extraordinary - especially the way animals can seemingly provide purposeful comfort and service to those who are in need.
Also, I know I got this film for half off, but it may cost me a lot more in the long run, as all my girls desperately want horses now.
One of those films where things just happen. The narrative isn't driven by a character's motivation nor a logical string of cause and effect but rather a series of random occurrences, chance coincidences and artificial, generic plot points.
Almost every scene is plagued by the insufferable, cartoonish and absurdly incoherent score.
The final section of the film revolves around horseracing, introducing a goal that is not just arbitrary but seems to me antithetical to what the film should really about. This is where the most interesting character in the film (the horse) is reduced to a mere object designed to fulfill some haphazard vision the protagonist has of societally recognized 'victory'.
The Black Stallion is really a tale of two halves. The first half feels like its own movie and is absolutely mesmerizing. Everything on the island feels like pitch perfect film making. To me the music and shots had a shade of Picnic on Hanging Rock, giving the whole thing an otherworldly feel.
The second half when Alec returns to civilization is a more mixed affair. It's not bad but it definitely has its problems. I'm guessing there were a great many scenes from it left on the editing room floor since the whole thing feels a bit rushed and choppy. Kelly Reno is amazing as Alec in the first half, but becomes less convincing when he's burdened with dialogue.…
A beautiful, wonderful film.
UPDATED: June 23, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…
Complete list. :-(