ByBrad Barnes, writer at
Brad Barnes

THE BLACK STALLION (1979) is the greatest all-ages movie ever made! THE BLACK STALLION finds ways to take your breath away like it was a thief, and then you thank it for taking away your wallet!

What is it that makes THE BLACK STALLION so good? Is it the unforgettable performance of Kelly Reno, who loses his father in a shipwreck, is washed up on a remote island, who befriends a magnificent horse, who upon rescue trains this horse, and who rides to victory upon this horse?

Is it the pitch-perfect turn by Teri Garr, who, as Reno's mother, provides the only gentle resistance to this scrappy lad in pursuit of his dream?

Is it the remarkable turn by Mickey Rooney, who is totally believable as a down-on-his-luck former jockey and horse trainer who befriends Reno?

Is it the impossibly-perfect horse who portrays THE BLACK STALLION, who actually had no stand-ins?

Is it the unassailable screen adaptation of the novel, which trusts the audience with long stretches of silence as it casts its irresistible spell?

Is it the sure-handed direction of Carroll Ballard, who captures the undeniable magic between boy and horse?

I say that the most important element of THE BLACK STALLION is the photography by Caleb Deschanel, which goes beyond eye candy and boldly goes where even a symphony cannot take us! Caleb Deschanel makes visual poetry in THE BLACK STALLION that nobody can deny!

(Yes, Caleb is the father of Zooey and Emily, he even directed an episode of BONES, so that makes him a good dad, too!)

What the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie needs is that level of confidence, that amount of trust in the power of silence, in the integrity of aspiring to something greater than yourself! Caleb Deschanel has been to the mountaintop with THE BLACK STALLION, and that's the level of expertise that the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie needs!


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