National Velvet (1944)
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The opening shot looks like a painting.
This movie is all charm. It is adorable, touching, incredibly sweet, and terribly precious. There is not one moment that does not touch your heart. From the Brown family - with the sisters Edwina (a young Angela Lansbury!) and Malvolia (Juanita Quigley) and the precious, freckled, innocent, and clever Donald (Jackie Jenkins). The Gibraltar of wisdom, Mrs. Brown (Anne Revere) and the Irish, folksy, can't-help-but-love-him Mr. Brown (Donald Crisp). Not to mention the stars of the program, Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney) and Velvet (the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor). Velvet is all heart, so full of her love for horses, so innocent and pure in her selflessness for Pie. And Mi, the ne'er-do-well who finds his courage and sense of self in Velvet's pure, unadulterated trust in him. What character dwells deep in these people, what stories, what charm!
And even though I knew the story, I cheered and clapped in the racing scene, and I teared up with the trust and wisdom of Mrs. Brown to Velvet.
A real classic, timeless and truly beautiful, that will leave you warm and inspired.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #24 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers
This movie ranks #383 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #600 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #645 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life