The Black Stallion Returns
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When a beautiful stallion is stolen in exotic Morocco, his young owner must embark on a series of daring adventures to get him back in this engaging family gem.
A rare sequel that can stand alone, 1983's The Black Stallion Returns is both a fun follow-up to the 1979 Carroll Ballard/Francis Ford Coppola film and a fine adventure in its own right. Kelly Reno returns as the now adolescent, deceptively ordinary Alec Ramsay, who stows away on a plane for Casablanca after the titular horse is kidnapped by Arabs. Getting him back pitches Alec into the middle of tribal rivalries and all sorts of complicated, dangerous intrigue. The cast includes Teri Garr, Vincent Spano, and Woody Strode, but the real star here may be cinematographer Carlo Di Palma, a veteran of several Woody Allen films and a master of color, light, and framing. Director Robert Dalva edited the previous film and happily executes countless ideas he appears to have stored up from his first stallion outing. But it's Reno's resourceful hero--his anti-Harry Potter normalcy--that finally takes hold of viewers. --Tom Keogh
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I have always loved horses, but watching this struck me so deeply. The relationship between human and horse was so beautiful.
I knew at that young age that I wanted to ride, train, work with horses.
Now as an equine professional I am still struck by the relationship these movies portray. Every rider dreams of having a relationship like thag with a horse. Most never get it. I was lucky enough to have have had it with a Thoroughbred. I was a pre-teen when I met him. And he chose me as his human. It really was like a story. So to honor Rev I am now writing a novel about our years together. It's a true story, and I am honored to have had this experience to share.
So thank you Walter Farley for your stories of The Black. And thank you to those who made these movies. For touching my life as a young child. The beauty of each horse is to be cherished. I will be forever grateful to a Thoroughbred whose registered name was Potlatch, but we called him The Reverend.
I enjoy every moment of this movie. Hopefully I won't wear it out on VHS anytime soon & end up having to buy the DVD from Amazon. I probably will sooner or later though. (Hoyt Axton) narrates at the beginning. After the big match race from the original all seems well that ends well. & still having no idea who the horse actually belongs to or where it really came from, he keeps the horse. Alec & his mother decide to have their own piece of land for them & the horse outside of the city. & build a barn. After everything that happens in this movie you got to wonder whether or not they were wasting their time. All Henry Daily (Mickey Rooney) said to Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) is that the horse is a desert horse. & is originally from a place called Casablanca. Where the real owners are. When word got around about Alec winning the race, I guess they must have gone from country to country looking for the black, Alec's own personal name for the horse. & without proof they tell the clerk at the airport the horse was stolen from them & that they haven't come to buy him. They did have a picture of the horse, & that's about it.
They neglected to explain stuff, as well as to Alec's mother (Teri Gar).
They had to get him before the Urruk leader Kurr did who sets the barn on fire after the horse attacks him. Giving a perfect diversion. Nobody except Alec sees the horse being kidnapped, & he wastes no time.
Despite the odds stacked against him Alec begins his journey. The only thing he told his mother was that he knew where the black was going & he was going after him. Its often hard to reach an understanding with your family when your facing a problem like this, but you know in your heart what you got to do. & that's all that really counts. So lets just say Alec would be content to face his mother later on, after he got back home.
& had to find a way to handle & talk to the original owners in the most peaceful manner. He meets Raj (Vincent Spano) who's intelligent & understanding.
All Alec seems to really care about is resolving his problem. Not Raj's opinions on him forgetting the horse. No sense in trying to get Alec's mind off of the horse whose main name is Sheaton. Some kind of an Arabian name.
In their country they treat guests & visitors the right way. Their way is (They do not refuse guests or visitors) Alec assumes the protection from Raj & Mezlar. He doesn't mind facing off against the consequences the desert offers if things do get tough for them. & he learns something about how the Arabian people are as he travels with a tribe on their way to the oasis, first off Raj, just after they first met, tells Alec not to wet his head with the water, just your head cloth. Cause water is scarce. I think its a different thing over there compared to what we're use to. Even though Raj & Alec argued a little bit they still became very good friends. Sometimes when you got a strong bond with an animal, a sacrifice is going to be made, trying to get things back to normal & get to the reasonable side with whoever doesn't come without obstacles. I've never read the book. I'm not much on reading anyways. I liked Alec's approach when he got to Abu Ben Ishak's village. Knew how to handle himself, & Abu Ben Ishak, learned one thing. How to be reasonable. In the beginning he only wanted the horse for his own reasons, to win the race, & Sheaton must have been some sort of Value to Ben Ishak.
During his granddaughters practice lessons being as it is she said that she was the Blacks rider, she is bucked off. & Abu Ben Ishak had told Alec not to interfere. & my guess is that Alec took off after the Black to catch him & bring him back after the girl got thrown off. I didn't see that part. But its my hint that that's what happened. That's why he had decided that it was time for Alex to leave & return to his own country.
& Kurr, the Urruk leader who wants to stop Sheaton from winning the race is dealt with, after Alec learned Raj's friend & protector Mezlar was alive & being held as a prisoner in the Urruk village that Alec escapes from, & frees Mezlar. This is one exciting movie I've enjoyed ever since it was made.
Its got the action, & the adventure. & Alec survives no matter how dangerous things are around him. In the end everything turns out fine between him & Ben Ishak. Who can say more about the movie. I loved every part of it. Alec taking a stand. Becoming an adult or acting like one at an early age. True friendship between you & a horse or a dog is worth it if you got a certain type of problem. No matter how urgent it is. I'll say Alec did what he had to do.
At the end Alec says I think he belongs here. But promises to come back & visit. He discovers the blacks happiness when he sees him with their herd of horses. I was very surprised that after Alec winning the race he doesn't decide to take the horse back to America. Just loosens the halter & sets him free to be with the other horses. I'm sure Raj or somebody would have helped him take the horse back across the desert. Arranging how to get the horse back to America whether it would be by boat or plane, I guess Alec & his Mother would probably be on their own with that. Either that or Alec may want to convince his mother to move out to that country so they both could see the black more regularly. Choosing to say goodbye must have been difficult.
He just decided he wanted what was best for him.
Its normal for us the viewers to be just a little bit puzzled.
Alec's adventures chasing his horse are appealing and interesting, and so is the climactic race at the end. But the story just peters out, and we never see Alec return home or what he does without his beloved horse now. (You do have to wonder in a kid's film why there is no resolution with his poor mom (Terri Garr), who had to be frantic when her young son mysteriously disappears for about three months.)
I applied the "11 year old girl who is horse crazy" test to this film, and decided it would definitely pass. That is who it is really made for, despite the male protagonist (and there is a girl rider in the plot, although she gets the heave-ho in favor of the hero). And that girl (me, about a million years ago) would have enjoyed this, although not as much as the original. It would have held my attention and I would have wanted to view it several times.
If your children loved the first film, this much more prosaic sequel would probably be of interest. Just don't expect great art.