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National Velvet
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Customer Reviews:

  • Great Movie, Dumb ending
    I think over all the movie was fantastic. But the ending was horrible! The hole movie hints that Mike and Velvet will fall in love, then it just ends with Mike leaving....more info
  • Inpiring, beautiful, and not just for kids!
    This movie is not about a girl, or her love for horses. Nor is it about a young man who is about to go down the wrong path. This movie is about faith, hope, and love, with a dash of humility thrown in. It sets a high standard -- how to win people by trusting them, and treating them with respect.

    I love this movie. I'm 57 years old and have just seen it for the first time. I don't know why I didn't see it sooner. I certainly wish I had.

    If you have a Bible, go read 1 Corinthians 13. This is what this movie is about, and it is a fine example of how to live your life to the fullest under the example described in this Biblical verse. ...more info
  • Better Than I Remembered ...
    I hadn't seen this flick since I was a kid, and it turns out it's even better now.

    Elizabeth Tylor said her mother worked hard to get her an audition for this (the studio thought she was too grown-up looking as a little girl), and it had been her (Liz's) favorite book. She came through with an unforgettable performance - including touches modern kids will appreciate, like the retainer she's supposed to wear but keeps slipping out of her mouth when her parents can't see.

    Brilliant color photography of the British (?) countryside, plenty of horse-focused action and suspense, a family filled with well-developed characters. Nearly perfect and lots more interesting for most kids, I'd bet, than the cartoons we usually provide.

    By the way, Mickey Rooney's character, a borderline orphan at a turning point in his life, rises to the occasion to be like a fine older brother to Velvet. For her part, she finds in him a real friend.

    This is one of the great, nearly overlooked films that kids and adults should see. (And by the way, I think my nephew will enjoy this as much as my niece.)...more info

  • Poor treatment of a classic
    "National Velvet" is a wonderful movie, for all ages. Frankly, I'd consider it one of the best "sports" movies ever made.

    Sadly, Warner Brothers DVD release leaves a lot to be desired. The picture frequently goes out of focus, and the disc is bare-bones....not even the trailer [promised on the DVD jacket] is included.

    With Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney still around, you would have thought they'd have either interviewed them, or gotten a commentary track from them for this classic. It would be worth the price to get a "special edition" release.

    Until then, I guess we're stuck with this sorry disk....more info

  • A classic for horse lovers
    This movie is as charming and watcheable today as it was when it came out. Elizabeth Taylor is delightful (if sometimes a little overly obsessive) as Velvet. Mickey Rooney as Mi Taylor does a good job of playing a boy that is good at heart but having to deal with some hard luck in life. Mr. and Mrs. Brown give us some of the best moments in the film, it is very touching in the end when they address each other by their first names (rather than just as Mrs. Brown or Mr. Brown). Velvet's little brother is a great example of annoying little brothers everywhere. The story moves along quickly, never really gets dull, and comes to the usual happy ending for all....more info
  • A heartwarming portrait!
    This film reveals such a very few, the childhood 's epic. Far away his undeniable virtues related with the will and firm resolution to fight against the most challenging and hard to beat surrounding circumstances, in direct allusion to a world in War (1944) , the gradual transformation of a simple and desired hope to win the famed National Race will make both youngsters and future cinema actors (Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney) all the best they can to train their beloved horse.

    A colossal and unforgettable feat of the human spirit; an everlasting life lesson who can work out as a simple fable, but based on the fact of having resisted the acid test of time it constitutes an admirable and unforgettable life 's lesson.

    Absolutely recommended for the adults who still haven' t watched it, for the children in progress and for the future generations.

    ...more info
  • Read the book and forget the movie
    I see that many people adore this movie and consider it a classic, and I admit I was ready and willing to love it as well. It is one of my all time favorite books, and I have read it so many times that I have lost count. It is a wonderful tale, but the movie hacks it to peices, the dredges the managled corpse of the book in sugar, and serves it to veiwers. I was heartbroken when I watched it, and could not bring myself to finish it. Hopefully someday someone will make a movie that does justice to the complexity of the characters since this movie did not deliver in any way. My advice is save money and aggrivation and forgot that they even made a movie and just read the book....more info
  • Finally saw this film!
    I can't believe my 53 year old eyes had never seen this film, shame on me as I really thought I was a film buff. What a gloriously filmed and acted piece of entertainment and I dare anyone to watch this film and afterwards not feel better about themselves or just life in general. As good as Elizabeth Taylor's performance is for the adult viewers I think that Anne Revere's performance (for which she won an Oscar) is the glue of this film, she is simply sublime as Mrs. Brown. At the conclusion of the film Robert Osborne talked about the film and mentioned that shortly after this film Anne Revere was black listed in Hollywood as a Communist sympathizer and simply could not get hired for work afterwards. Can you imagine someone that talented not being able to act again, what a shame....more info
  • Up and Coming Stars Galore!!
    We first meet the Brown sisters, Edwina (Angela Lansbury), Mellie and Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor) on the last day of the school term. This is going to be a big day for Velvet. On her way home she meets Mike Taylor (Mickey Rooney) and sees a horse which she names the Pi (short for the Pirate).

    Mrs. Brown (Anne Revere) was a famous channel swimmer. Mike's father was her coach. Mr. Brown (Donald Crisp) is the town butcher and hires Mike to work for him.

    When the Pi escapes and runs rampant through town, his owner decides to raffle him off. Velvet gets the notion that she will win the horse; she's arranged it with God. When she loses the raffle, she is heart broken. She is so heart broken that she sees the whole town bringing her the Pi. But it's true. The number drawn hadn't been sold and the next number was Velvet's.

    Then Velvet gets the idea to enter the Pi into the Grand National Steeplechase. And finally, she decides to race the horse herself.

    This was Liz's second starring role - fourth film. You could see from this her true charisma was showing early on. This was also an early role for Angela Lansbury. This film she played a girl about her own age, a rarity for Lansbury. Rooney was the veteran. This was his 50th film. But this was Mickey in transition. He wanted to get away of being Andy Hardy, Judy Garland's boyfriend or the younger brother of the star of a film. All proved they had the talent to go far.

    The rest of the cast included many of MGM's greatest character actors. But it was Anne Revere as the center rock of the Brown family that won the Oscar. She gave a great performance that would be the standard and copied to this day.

    The production values are the best of MGM's toughest standards. You cannot fault any of the production values.

    This is a perfect escapist family fare.

    DVD EXTRAS: None - They should get Liz, Angela and Mickey together to do a commentary track!
    ...more info
  • A timeless classic
    Beautiful British tomboy Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor) wins a Thoroughbred called The Pirate (played by King Charles; Since King Charles was a chestnut Thoroughbred, and not a Piebald as portrayed in the novel, his nickname "The Pi" came to stand for The Pirate in place of The Piebald) in the local lottery and, inspired by her ex-jockey friend Mi (Mickey Rooney), trains for the prestigious Grand National Steeplechase. Just two small obstacles stand in Velvet's way: She cannot afford the entry fee, and female jockeys are not allowed to compete. Based on the book by Enid Bagnold (which also quite good -- this DVD and the novel would make a nice gift for any horse lovers on your list).

    Staci Layne Wilson
    ...more info
  • sweet & honest fluff
    the legend is that this movie made elizabeth taylor a star, but in reality nobody knew what to do with the child-woman and it was many more years before she got another role of any importance, all the while remaining a sexual curiosity in a post-ww2 world. the movie itself is a pleasant bit of fluff, highlighted by some spectacular scenery and top-notch supporting work by the likes of anne revere, donald crisp, and (the ACTUAL star of the movie) mickey rooney [omigod! is HE still alive?]. i cant imagine anyone loving this movie, but i cant imagine anyone hating it either.
    ...more info
  • I love this movie and i am glad i was able to finally find it. Thank you
    I looked everywhere for this movie and was finally able to get it through amazon. Thank you very much. Delivery was on time and it was in awesome condition.
    ...more info
  • A Timeless Classic (And For Horsey Peoples, too!)
    This movie has to be one of the most wonderful ones out there! The thing that ticks me off the most about some equine movies (see racing stripes) is that they mistreat the sports that horses do and twist around the truth. I saw nothing of the sort in this movie! It makes me want to see this movie over and over, with it being down to earth with the reality side of things, you can actually believe it actually happened. Ex., The sacrifices made to get to the Grand National (The greatest steeplechase event in the world to this day), such as Mrs. Brown(Ann Revere must be applauded in her terrific performance as Mrs. Brown) giving up her prize money for swimming the channel so that Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor was amazing as little Velvet in this film) could have her money for the entry fee. Mi (Mickey Rooney fits Mi Taylor perfectly) gives up leaving the Browns behind when he refuses to give the money to the drunkards at the London bar when he could have been on his freeroaming way. When Velvet cut off her hair so she could look like a boy so she could ride in the race. (Ivan Taski's heart was just not in it.) Or when the cart got broken because Mr. Brown (Donald Crisp as the un-fervolous father) had had enough of the nonsense. Adding to that list of reality in the movie, how Velvet's mother told her that there was a time for everything, and then a time to move on, (The big message in this film, very meaningful too!) Mi's leaving at the end of the movie, and how they were disqualified after the race because Velvet had fainted off of The Pie (her wonderful chestnut jumper) and transported to the track hospital, where the doctor found out she was a girl.
    And also, when Velvet turned down fame and fortune for the happiness of her horse. ("I can't help it father. I'd rather have that horse go to heaven.") Any other movie that rips alot out of this classic ("Stripes" for example) does not have this kind of ending, wheras this movie's ending can send it straight to your heart. (Unlike the boring fairy tale ending.)
    "That'll be a dispute to the end of time, Mr. Brown: Whether it's better to do the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing for the right reason." -Revere
    "I want it all quickly 'cuase I don't want God to stop and think and wonder if I'm getting more than my share." -Taylor
    "What's the meaning of goodness if there isn't a little badness to overcome?" -Revere
    "Some day you'll learn that greatness is only the siezing of opportunity-clutching with your bare hands til the knuckles show white." -Rooney
    "So you're to win the gelding, are you Velvet?"
    "Oh, of course I'm to win."
    "There are ways of arranging it, aren't there? And your father's a clever man..."
    "Oh, I didn't bother him, Mr. Hallam. I just arranged it with God." -Taylor and Mr. Hallam

    Some reasonable quotes from the movie to make you think. Then you'll realize what a great story this movie has got to give!
    "Where's number 28?" "Don't know, can't see a thing."...more info
  • Great family entertainment & grt. role model for young girls
    This was about Velvets love of the horse and the love of the sport, her love of the horse (pie) and her "friendship" with mike, a boy, and how she took on the "boys" at their own game and won!

    Not about any "love affair" by a 12 year old girl.(reference another review). Frankly it's wonderful to see a 12 year old have a great friendship with a boy (mike-Mickey Rooney)and how he supports her for the race.

    Plus it's appropriate to see Mike move on because at 12 years old, girls see boys come and go and it's not the end of the world. Life moves on, certainly at 12.

    It's a great role model for young girls to be able to compete equally with men, even though at the time it was not popular.

    This is a great movie and our 5 year old daughter loved it (and she also loved the horses as she is just starting riding lessons).

    It's a great example of how her family lets HER decide what to do next after winning the race and how she keeps her perspective with pie's best interests. The relationship between the mother and velvet is wonderful and overall they seemed to have a wonderful marriage, even if a little stiff. :)

    If any young girl doesn't like this movie, then I'd personally be really worried why not? If any family doesn't enjoy watching this movie, then perhaps they best go back to playing murder and mayhem video games together!...more info

  • Good, exciting and nostalgic fun
    I purchased this vid for my mother, who was a big Liz Taylor fan at the time when Taylor (and my mother) were young. My mom's 81 now, and still really enjoyed this film. In fact, she wound up viewing it and sending it to her granddaughter (now 13)who is a horse lover. The verdict is not in yet as to whether it'll be too dated for her, but so far it's a big hit for the young and, well, not so young.
    ...more info
  • Excellent Movie - Poor Condition
    National Velvet is a true classic. The problem is with the existing condition of the movie. It is in desperate need of restoration. The out-of-focus look of the film is due to the 3-strip Technicolor transfer. One or more of the 3 strips has aged to the point where they have literally shrunk. So when this version was printed the colors no longer lined up properly. This is a common problem with Technicolor films. It almost happened to "Gone With The Wind". Whoever owns the rights to the film needs to start a full restoration project. This movie is more than deserving the cost and effort....more info