Picks and Pans Review: The Black Stallion
Don't be put off by the G rating. While youngsters are sure to be enraptured by this magical movie, adults won't be immune. It is the story of a boy (Kelly Reno) towed to safety from a sinking ship by a magnificent black horse. They form a bond that survives a return to civilization and the inevitable decision to enter racing. Although a trifle long, the dream-like island sequence is pleasingly reminiscent of Swept Away—not surprisingly, since some of the same lovely locations off the coast of Sardinia were used. If the second half is similar to last year's Casey's Shadow, its flaws are obscured by Caleb Deschanel's dazzling cinematography. Credit must be shared with Reno, 11, an accomplished rider who had never acted before; Mickey Rooney, in a fine, restrained performance as an aging trainer; first-time director Carroll Ballard; executive producer Francis Coppola, who encouraged him; and, of course, Cass-ole, the spirited Arabian in the title role. This is a lyrical film, exploding with beauty. Parents, take your kids. Kids, take your parents. (G)
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