Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Anne Revere, Angela Lansbury, Donald Crisp, Reginald Owen
Charming. Joyous. Old-fashioned.
Mrs. Brown: You’re twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember, Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.
Velvet Brown, played by a preteen Elizabeth Taylor, is the wonderful heroine of this impossible-not-to-like sports classic. Velvet lives in a small English town with her loving family that includes her patient father (Crisp), wise mother (Revere), two sisters, and a younger brother. When a vagrant young man, Mi Taylor (Rooney), a stranger to the family, but the son of an old friend, shows up one day, he sets in motion a series of events that lead to Velvet and Mi training a wild, local horse for the Grand National’s. National Velvet is likely the most beloved horse movie, which is a niche, sure, but a popular one. It’s also an endearing family film with the Browns ranking with the Marches (Little Women) and the Smiths (Meet Me in St. Louis) as my favorite family from classic Hollywood. It’s a simple story that trusts its distinct characters and setting to hold your attention.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-