Black Stallion

Primary Creator
Director Carroll Ballard
Actor Kelly Reno
Writer Melissa Mathison
Writer Jean Rosenberg
Actor Mickey Rooney
Actor Terri Garr
Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel
Duration118 minutes
Name of WorkBlack Stallion
Production Date1979
Production Location
(also Canada)
Current Location

General Notes

Walter Farley is the writer of original story.


A ship in the Mediterranean is destroyed in a storm. A young boy is saved by a stallion who was in transit on the ship. They are shipwrecked on an island. The entire early portion of this movie is silent (i.e, no talking). It shows the development of a bond between the wild horse and the boy. The boy learns to survive on the island and helps the horse survive too. Eventually about half way thru the movie they are rescued by local fishermen, and returns to his mother in the States. (His father was killed in the shipwreck.)

From this point on it is a different movie -- a fairly predicatable, if pleasurable story of boy and horse triumph over adversity and challenges.


Man and nature in harmony. At least this is the theme of the first half of the movie. See "Description" and "Context" info below for more on this comment.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

Everything is possible between boy and beast, between an innocent human and mother nature.

Context Information

Last half of movie is a different movie and is not a Thematic Artwork. This is an unusual case of an artwork that is split and "grafted". The first half is a rare Thematic film that is almost wordless but communicative of a remarkable theme. The latter half is an Experiential film that is a very pleasant story about a boy and a horse. On a low level, this second half has a simple theme of perseverence, but it doesn't rise to the level of signficant thematic art.