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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

National Velvet (1944)

File:PosterVelvet 01.jpg

Velvet Brown, after winning a horse in a raffle, works with her horse, The Pie, to get him ready for the Grand National steeplechase.


Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown (left)
and Mickey Rooney as Mi Taylor (right)
Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown
Velvet Brown, who lives in Sewels, England, wins a horse in a raffle and trains it for the Grand National steeplechase with the help of Mi Taylor, her father's hired hand and a drifter. Mi dislikes horses because, while his time as a jockey, he caused an accidental collision resulting in the death of another jockey. Velvet calls her horse "The Pie", since the former owner had called him a "pirate" for his behavior. After working with The Pie to train him for the Grand National, Mi and Velvet go off to the racetrack. The night before the race, when they are talking to the Latvian jockey, Ivan Taski, they have hired to ride The Pie, Velvet senses that Taski does not believe that he or the Pie could win. Originally, they plan to give up, but Mi begins to imagine himself riding again instead of Taski. But Velvet has other ideas - she cuts her hair and disguises as Ivan Taski. She passes the finish line, but she is tired from the five-mile race and passes out. A doctor then discovers that "he" is in fact an "adolescent female". In modern terms, Velvet goes "viral" in the news. When she is offered 5,000 pounds to travel to Hollywood with The Pie to be featured in a film, Velvet declines, stating that The Pie wouldn't want to be looked at.
Overall Review
My Rating: A
Even despite the fact I rated this the same as The Corpse Vanishes, this is a good movie. At times, the movie is a bit long, but it is worth watching. For me, Elizabeth Taylor disguised as a male jockey didn't quite work...but, in reading other reviews of this movie, I see I'm not the only one with this opinion. All in all, I recommend this movie if you like old 1940s movies.
  • Mickey Rooney as Mi Taylor
  • Donald Crisp as Mr. Herbert Brown
  • Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown
  • Anne Revere as Mrs. Araminty Brown
  • Angela Lansbury as Edwina Brown
  • Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins as Donald Brown
  • Juanita Quigley as Malvolia "Mally" Brown
  • Arthur Treacher as Race Patron
  • Reginald Own as Farmer Ede
  • Norma Varden as Miss Sims
  • Terry Kilburn as Ted
  • Arthur Shields as Mr. Hallam
  • Aubrey Mather as Entry Official
  • Alec Craig as Tim
  • Eugene Loring as Ivan Taski
  • Jane Isbell as Schoolgirl Jane
  • Matthew Boulton as Entry Official


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