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When the steamer Drake is shipwrecked off the Spanish coast, only two passengers survive. One is Alec Ramsay, a young American boy. The other is the Black Stallion, the wildest of all wild creatures. Stranded together on a desert island, boy and stallion develop a deep and wonderful understanding. The Black Stallion is the horse Alec has always dreamed of – beautiful, free-spirited, and astonishingly strong. Alec is determined to tame him and bring him home to New York. But the job turns out to be more difficult and dangerous that he ever thought possible, for a wild Arabian stallion will not settle down easily into the quiet American countryside. Generations have been captivated by Walter Farley’s heartwarming story of the extraordinary horse and the boy who loves him. To this day, The Black Stallion remains one of the best-loved books of children around the world and a classic of children’s literature. ©1941 Walter Farley
Story by: Walter Farley
Narrated by: Frank Muller
Running time: 5h 9min
Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion is a legendary piece of visual filmmaking. Spike Jonze studied it for Where the Wild Things Are, and explains how Ballard effortlessly tells a rousing story with few words.
By Rob Feld
He’s a rare filmmaker with such a delicate touch,” says Spike Jonze, settling in to watch Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion. “He’s like Terrence Malick in a way: very patient and confident.”
Jonze has chosen to screen the film about a boy and the horse he loves because of the influence it had on his last movie, Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak, who wrote the children’s book it was based on, had suggested he see it again. “I remember loving this movie as a kid,” says Jonze. “When I re-watched it, I was astounded by the beauty of the relationship. The first 45 minutes, with almost no dialogue, is always what gets me. It captures the point of view of a boy observing the world.”
Ballard’s treatment of Walter Farley’s novel follows Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno), who saves, and in turn is saved by, a powerful black stallion. The boy is traveling with his father (Hoyt Axton) on an ocean liner, and Ballard introduces the boat as a wonderland inhabited by strange characters. “One of the great things about the film was the casting, the specialness of the boy Ballard found, and the way he worked with him,” says Jonze. “The boy had never acted before, but the movie wouldn’t have worked if they didn’t have this kid who’s face you could hold on in silence for long scenes, and understand what he’s feeling.”
A time in history, never to be seen again, but what a ride it was.
HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU!
THOSE WERE THE DAYS, MY FRIENDS!
The Roy Rogers Museum has closed its doors forever. Here is a partial listing of some of the items that were sold at auction:
- His script book from the January 14,1953, episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (est. $800-$1,000).
- A collection of signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder and other greats) sold for $3,750. Continue reading