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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars nice enough movie, but poor adaptation......, 7 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Black Beauty [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
In itself this is not a bad movie, but the only thing it really shares with the book is Black Beauty himself and the most basic bare bones of the storyline. Like the book its about a beautiful and gentle black horse that gets passed from home to home, but most events which happen in the book are excluded, and completely new situations are thrown in (Beauty as a circus horse anyone?)

Also all the other main horse characters in the book (except Duchess)are either completely (or mostly) ignored. For example, Ginger, probably the most memorable horse in the book besides Beauty himself is only briefly glimpsed twice, and for some reason she is now a he. I know no film can include everything or be 100% faithful all the time, but it felt to me like they didn't even try, and it was disappointing they didn't even get the details right.
Also this adaptation often focuses far more on the lives of the people who own Beauty than on Beauty himself - at times it even feels like the title character is positively shoved into the background to make way for the human stars.

That said this film does have its good points, the friendship between Beauty & Joe shines through fairly well, and despite the changes and omissions, at least some of the message Anna Sewell was trying to get across is still there. Even though I personally think the 1994 remake is a far better adaptation, this movie is still enjoyable if you like horses.

Overall its a fairly good horse movie, just a disappointing adaptation.
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Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 137,698