National Velvet (1944)
Critic Consensus: National Velvet makes the most of a breakout performance from Elizabeth Taylor, delivering a timeless family-friendly tearjerker that avoids straying into the sentimental.
National Velvet Photos
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as Velvet Brown
as Mi Taylor
as Mr. Brown
as Mrs. Brown
as Edwina Brown
as Donald Brown
as Farmer Ede
as Malvolia Brown
as Mr. Taski
as Miss Sims
as Mr. Hallam
as Mr. Greenford
as Entry Official
as Man with Umbrella
as Van Driver
as Entry Clerk
as English Bookie
as Track Official
Critic Reviews for National Velvet
Pandro Berman, the producer, and Clarence Brown, the director, have made it into a conservatively exciting and engaging film whose chief virtue is its acting, especially a letter-perfect, beautifully felt performance by Mickey Rooney as the jockey.
National Velvet is not merely sure to delight children and the child in most adults; it is also an interesting psychological study of hysterical obsession, conversion mania, preadolescent sexuality.
National Velvet is a horse picture with wide general appeal. The production also focuses attention on a new dramatic find -- moppet Elizabeth Taylor.
Audience Reviews for National Velvet
There is a curiosity in seeing Liz Taylor as a child actor and Mickey Rooney is always a delight but this film is pure kids' play. Nothing terribly memorable.
A giant cup full of feel good. Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, two of the greatest child actors to grace the silver screen, are put together to make one of the more beautiful of trainer-athlete pairings on screen. Anne Revere as the incomparable Mrs. Brown gained an Oscar for her role, and rightly so. Watch with family, because that's what thje movie's about. That and the Pie.
A warm and fuzzy family film about a young girl's love of her horse and her pursuit of a win at the Grand Nationals horse race. This stars an incredibly beautiful 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, and Donald Crisp as the curmudgeonly but lovable father, Mr. Brown. There are some scenes that are TOO coincidental, such as how Velvet (Taylor) acquires the horse to begin with, and how the results of the race are decided. Why take the long way around? We know she's going to win the horse or we'd have no movie. Why tiptoe around the obvious? The race itself, consisting of jumps over hedges and ditches, is breathtaking. A number of horses don't complete the jumps, jockeys are thrown or fall from their horses, and the recording of this event makes you feel you're actually there. Kind of a Ben-Hur feel to it in some ways. Mickey Rooney was a hugely talented actor as a child, and he doesn't disappoint here. He is by turns sweet or bossy or calculating or afraid. He has a wonderful series of scenes with character actor Arthur Treacher as they watch the race progress. I've always found Elizabeth Taylor's early performances a little too saccharine for my tastes, but she has a glow in her face and her voice that you can't help but be drawn to. Small children, especially horse-obsessed little girls, will like this, and it's good enough that adults won't be pulling their hair out while watching it. The main theme at the time was probably about going after your dreams, and it is that. But Velvet's talk with her mother (Anne Revere) about those dreams also holds a feminist message -- that women can do anything men can do. What better message could there be for little girls?
National Velvet Quotes
|Edwina Brown:||â??Weâ??re alike. I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life. I was twenty when they said a woman couldnâ??t swim the Channel. Youâ??re twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember, Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.â??|
|Edwina Brown:||We're alike. I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life. I was twenty when they said a woman couldn't swim the Channel. You're twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember, Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.|
|Edwina Brown:||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.|