Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DVD Review - National Velvet

National Velvet
Director: Clarence Brown
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisps, Ann Revere, Angela Lansbury, Jackie Jenkins, Arthur Treacher
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 11, 2000
Running Time: 124 minutes
Rating: G

National Velvet was released to theaters back on December 14, 1944 and is based on the novel of the same name by Helen Deutsch. The movie is mostly set in Sewels, Sussex, England and stars a young Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown who dreams of owning her own horse. On her way home from school, she meets a young drifter named Mi Taylor (played by Mickey Rooney) who looking for Velvet’s mother. He had found Mrs. Brown's name and address in his late father's possessions.

The Browns hire Mi to help out around their farm and at their store. They also allow him to sleep in the barn. Velvet and Mi become friends despite the fact that Mi hates horses as he use to be a jockey.

A local farmer is raffling his horse "Pirate", because the horse is wild. The horse likes to get jump the fence and create chaos throughout the small village, practically putting the owner in debt. Despite the Browns rejections, Mi buys several raffles and gives them to Velvet and her siblings. To her luck, she wins the horse that she renames Pie.

Velvet has great faith in Pie and wants to enter him into the Grand National. She talks Mi into helping her train Pie for the great race and her mother gives her 100 pounds to enter into the race.

I've never really cared for watching horse racing movies, or horse moves in general, but National Velvet was under five dollars and has a great cast (It even has the dog Daisy from the Blondie movies as the Browns' family dog.), so I decided to give it a try. Considering the age of the movie, the film looks great on DVD! Elizabeth Taylor gives a great performance as Velvet, the girl who loves horses, but my favorite character was Mi Taylor played by Mickey Rooney, as he is a flawed character. Several times he has a great amount of money in his hands, but he cares for the Browns and he doesn't want to disappoint them. The running time is a little over two hours, but I was so into the movie that it felt less than that. I recommend everyone to watch National Velvet.

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