The Black Stallion is an American adventure film from 1979 adapted from Walter Farley’s timeless 1941 children’s story of the same name. The film begins in 1946, so it’s been five years since the novel came out. The book follows the adventures of Alec Ramsey, a young boy who, after a shipwreck, finds himself stranded on an isolated island with a wild Arabian stallion. They intend to race against two champion horses after being rescued.
Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg, and William D. Wittliff developed the film script. Kelly Reno, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton, Mickey Rooney, and the Arabian horse Cass Ole feature in this Carroll Ballard film. Music was composed by Carmine Coppola, father of Hollywood filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who is recognized as the film’s executive producer.
The Library of Congress began selecting 25 films each year for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for their “cultural, historical, or artistic significance” in 2002, and The Black Stallion was one of them.
How and Where Did They Shoot the Black Stallion?
Toronto, Sardinia, and the Cinecittà Studios in Rome were just some of the locales used to create The Black Stallion. The shipwreck scene was filmed in a massive outdoor water tank at Cinecittà Studios.
Most of the film centered around the champion Arabian stallion Cass Ole; his principal counterpart was the black Arabian stallion Fae Jur. Alec’s attempt to win the Black’s trust on the beach is the focal point of Fae Jur’s primary scene. Scenes involving running, fighting, and swimming was performed by two more stunt doubles.
The Egyptian Arabian racehorse El Mokhtar was the original option of the producers to play the Black, but his owners said no to the filming. The studio eventually bought out the syndicate of owners and negotiated El Mokhtar’s appearance in The Black Stallion Returns, where he co-stars with Cass Ole.
Junior, most known for his portrayal of Niedermeyer’s horse, Trooper, in National Lampoon’s Animal House, played Napoleon.
Intrada Records reissued the original soundtrack album from 1979 and included new material such as unused cues and alternate takes of several tracks on a three-disc special edition of the soundtrack published on August 17, 2009. Only 1,500 copies of this product were made available.
- Kelly Reno as Alec Ramsay
- Mickey Rooney as Henry Dailey
- Teri Garr as Mrs. Ramsay, Alec’s Mother
- Hoyt Axton as Mr. Ramsay, Alec’s Father
- Clarence Muse as Snoe
- Michael Higgins as Jim Neville
- Ed McNamara as Jake
- Larbi Doghmi as Arab
- John Burton as Jockey #1
- John Buchanan as Jockey #2
- Kristen Vigard as Becky
- Fausto Tozzi as Rescue Captain
- John Karlsen as Archeologist
- Leopoldo Trieste as Priest
- Frank Cousins as African Chieftain
- Don Hudson as Zaurog
- Marne Maitland as Drake Captain
- Tom Dahlgren as The Veterinarian