The Black Stallion 1979 Criterion Collection
Young Alec Ramsey and his father are on a ship somewhere off the coast of Africa. Alec is bored and while wandering around the ship witnesses how a group of men try to tame a beautiful black stallion. Later on, the boy gives the stallion a few sugar cubes and angers one of its guards. During a powerful storm the ship catches fire and people are forced to jump in the ocean. The stallion is also set free. While the ship slowly begins to sink, Alec and the stallion find each other in the freezing water and together reach a deserted island.
It takes a long time before some Italian fishermen discover Alec. During that time he and the stallion learn to trust each other and then become best friends. Upon their rescue, Alec and the magnificent horse continue their adventures when they join forces with ex-jockey and horse trainer Henry Dailey.

This is a remarkably beautiful looking film with great photography. There are so many stunning moments throughout the film with beautiful sunsets, the blue ocean, and other wonderful scenic elements. The film is a fantastic moving painting. The score for the film is beautiful and hypnotic. The music and photography are terrific together. The filmmaking is pure art: more poetic and reflective than commercial. It mesmerizes and creates a real sense of cinematic magic.

Director: Carroll Ballard
Cast: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr
Genre: Adventure, Family, Sport
Country: USA


Carroll Ballard and Scott Foundas - in this new filmed conversation, director Carroll Ballard discusses with film critic Scott Foundass the difficult production history of The Black Stallion, Francis Ford Coppola's involvement with the film and his invaluable support, the shooting of the film in Sardinia, Italy (with some excellent comments about the footage with the cobra), the film's distribution history and success, some of the unique framing decisions (as well as the use of light), Mickey Rooney's performance, the evolution of his directing style, etc. The conversation was filmed exclusively for Criterion at the director's home in California in 2015. (48 min)

Caleb Deschanel - in this new video interview, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel discusses Carroll Ballard's directing style (prior to The Black Stallion the two had done a couple of short films together), the shooting of various parts from The Black Stallion (with specific comments about the Italian crew that worked with them in Sardinia), the various lighting decisions that were made, the special connection between the child and the horse and the role of the trainer behind the camera, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in California in 2014. (22 min)

Mary Ellen Mark - in this new video interview, still photographer Mary Ellen Mark discusses her work in Sardinia and Toronto where different parts of The Black Stallion were shot. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2015. (8 min)

Short Films - presented here are five short films which Carroll Ballard shot between 1965 and 1974. Each short is accompanied by a brand new video introduction by director Carroll Ballard.

-- Pigs! (1965, 11 min.) is a documentary focused on the lives of pigs on a farm.

-- The Perils of Priscilla (1969, 17 min.) is a short film made for the Humane Society which focuses on the perils of a house cat who becomes lost in the streets of Los Angeles.

-- Rodeo (1969, 20 min.) is a documentary which follows a champion bull rider named Larry Mahan as he competes in the 1968 National Rodeo Finals competition in Oklahoma state.

-- Seems Like Only Yesterday (1971, 47 min.) is a documentary in which 12 different elderly centenarians were interviewed about their views on the changing way of life in L.A.

-- Crystallization (1974, 11 min.) is an educational film filmed using a microscope. This short is about the formation of patterns from crystals.

Trailer - original trailer for The Black Stallion. (2 min)

2 x DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:57:27 | 7.46 Gb + 7.56 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:57:36 | 43.9 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

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