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Black Beauty [Widescreen]

3.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on the timeless novel by Anna Sewell, BLACK BEAUTY follows the lives of a young boy and his horse as they are sadly separated and triumphantly reunited. Along the journey Black Beauty is badly mistreated as he is passed from owner to owner.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Lester, Walter Slezak, Peter Lee Lawrence, Ursula Glas, Patrick Mower
  • Directors: James Hill
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002JP5CM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,924 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Beauty [Widescreen]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Staci L. Wilson on December 28, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
There have been several versions of Black Beauty produced for the cinema and for television. One of the weakest versions is the 1971 British production, which focuses much more on its parade of human characters than it does the horse. In the book and several of the movie versions, we get to know Beauty. We feel what he feels, and we understand what he is thinking as he passes from owner to owner. Beauty goes from a loving, happy family and life on an English farm with a little boy (Mark Lester) who loves him, to the cruel hands of the local land baron (Patrick Mower). Then he's stolen by Gypsy stereotypes, shipped across the continent, sold to a circus, and gifted to a gentleman who in turn gives the horse to his daughter. The daughter presents Beauty to her lover, who's a soldier headed for India. When the young man is killed in battle, Beauty is shipped back to England, where he goes to work in a coal mine. Instead of the people in the story being the thread woven through the horse's life, in this version it is just the opposite. While a horse called Ginger is mentioned in passing, the colorful equine characters in Beauty's orbit - most notably, Merrylegs - are all excised.

Adding insult to injury, the filmmakers made precious little attempt to match the various horses who portrayed Beauty throughout the years. Different shades, different builds, and even completely different breeds were used interchangeably. To a horse-lover, this is on par with a director casting Jack Nicholson, Jackie Chan, and Jacqueline Bisset in the same role and expecting the audience not to notice. The only constant was the extremely shoddy-looking fake star painted on the horse's forehead.

Staci Layne Wilson
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Format: Amazon Video
I added this movie to my watchlist and was so excited to watch it, but it's not the correct version shown. It's the old and boring version. The version I wanted to see is directed by Caroline Thompson and was released in 1994. Alan Cumming provides the voice of Black Beauty, Sean Bean plays Farmer Grey and Jim Carter from Downton Abbey plays John Manly.

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was Black Beauty. Even now, the music (composed by Danny Elfman) is still one of my favorite movie scores. The soundtrack is impossible to find for some reason, but if you can find it I highly recommend it.

Anyway, the 1994 version is so much better, and the music done by Danny Elfman is, in my opinion, some of his best work. It's a heart-warming story, I highly recommend the Caroline Thompson version over this version.

PS- Amazon, please stop getting people's hopes up with this movie poster! It's the wrong one :-(
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Format: VHS Tape
As a young girl, I was truly struck by this film; the music, the texture of the lighting, and the tall, dark, and handsome leading man leant it an uncannily romantic feel. However, when I tried shared the movie with the little girls I babysit for, the sophisticated narrative and general lack of explosions bored them to distraction. This particular telling of BLACK BEAUTY no longer serves its function as a children's story, but is nonetheless compelling for adults.
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Format: VHS Tape
After hearing so much about Black Beauty, and studying horses with my 5yr old we got this movie at the library. I was sad that I had not previewed it before letting her view it. I was surprised to see the fighting with the men stabbed in the chest. After talking with some friends I have found out there are other versions of Black Beauty that are wonderful and good for children to see.
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Format: DVD
I was really disappointed with this movie. I love horses and was really excited to watch it, because it was rated G and therefore, I thought, less scary than the book, which I love. Well, I was watching it with my little sis, age 6, an she 1)couldn't understand the dialogue- I couldn't!-you need to be good with British accents- and 2) didn't understand what was happening. She went to bed and I watched the rest, telling her I would re-watch the rest with her in the morning. I'm glad I saw it first! They show dead horses, and there is upsetting animal abuse in it. Beauty goes to war, where a bunch of guys get stabbed-what the heck- and they throw in a slobbery romance. They did not focus on the horse at all, it was not very well made, and the only reason I give it two stars is because the horse was pretty, and the little boy and his horse theme in the beginning was cute.Should be rated PG-12, if that existed.
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Format: DVD
This stinks... :(

I hate this version of black beauty..... Just stick with and like the new one better - from 1994. The new one is more about the horse, and i think there is TO much talk in this 1971 one! Allthough, it is just not as good as the 1994 version
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Format: Amazon Video
Love the BOOK, the movie had the same name as it, but not much else and what it had on its own was not quality.
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Format: Amazon Video
Since I know the book very well this movie was a big disappointment.
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