The Black Stallion | Chicago Reader

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Carroll Ballard's quiet, beautifully textured 1979 film of the Walter Farley novel. Some of the opening scenes are a little too postcard pretty, but the courtship of a boy and a horse stranded together on a tropical island is portrayed with such depth that the feelings carry over magnificently when the two return to prosaic civilization, where Ballard must work without the benefit of breathtaking landscapes. The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works. With Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton, and Clarence Muse. 118 min.

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