NYFF17: Family Matinee of “The Black Stallion”

The quintessential tale of a boy and his horse, The Black Stallion screens Saturday at 11am in a special 50 Years of the New York Film Festival family matinee at the Walter Reade Theater.

Although now widely regarded as a classic, The Black Stallion came to NYFF in 1979 with an uncertain future; United Artists, its distributor, didn’t show much interest in it. But after it screened at the festival, positive notices started to roll in, and it went on to a leggy box office run and two Academy Award nominations (though, puzzlingly, not one for its spectacular cinematography). Roger Ebert named the film the best of 1980, and Pauline Kael wrote it was "proof that even children who have grown up with television and may never have been exposed to a good movie can respond to the real thing when they see it."

Based on the first of a long series of books by Walter Farley, the film picturesquely chronicles the relationship between a boy and his iconic stallion, initially after they are shipwrecked on an island together and eventually on the racetrack. The simple story resonated profoundly enough to inspire a sequel, prequel, television adaptation and myriad imitators in the years that followed.

Come see a magnificent 35mm print this weekend, with tickets just $6 for kids (children 4-12 should be occupied by an adult). And don’t forget to check out our ongoing Family Films series, with daily screenings throughout the February school break and more titles coming soon.

Below is a full list of all the films that played alongside The Black Stallion at the NYFF in 1979:
Luna
Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/USA, 1979

The Golden Coach
Jean Renoir, Italy/ France, 1953

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie
Chuck Jones, USA, 1979

Black Jack
Ken Loach, UK, 1979

WIse Blood
John Houston, USA, 1979

Short Memory (La Memoire Courte)
Eduardo de Gregorio, France/Belgium, 1979

Angi Vera
Pál Gabor, Hungary, 1979

Nosferatu, The Vampyre 
Werner Herzog, West Germany/USA, 1978

Mad Wednesday
Preston Sturges, USA, 1950

Scarface
Howard Hawks, USA, 1932

The Europeans
James Ivory, UK, 1979

Molière
Ariane Mnouchkine, France, 1978

Best Boy
Ira Wohl, USA, 1979

Other People's Money (L'argent des autres)
Christian de Chalonge, France, 1978

Alexandria... Why? (Askandrie...Lie?)
Youssef Chahine, Egypt/Algeria, 1978

My Brilliant Career
Gill Armstrong, Australia, 1979

Primal Fear (Mourir à tue-tête)
Jan-Marie Martell Canada, 1978  

In a Year of 13 Moons (In einem jahr mit 13 monden
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1979

Without Anesthesia
Andrzej Wajda, Poland, 1978

The Wobblies
Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer, USA, 1979

The Young Girls of Wilko (Panny z Wilka)
Andrzej Wajda, Poland/France, 1979

Peeping Tom
Michael Powell, UK, 1959

The Marriage of Maria Braun 
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1978

SPECIAL EVENT: AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS
Film shown were:  The Cold World, Shirley Clarke; Heartland, Richard Pearce; Trash, Paul Morissey; Ice, Robert Kramer; Glen and Randa, Jim McBride; Alambrista (The Illegal), Robert M.Young; Badlands, Terence Malick; Gal Yung Un, Victor Nuñez; Killer's Kiss & The Brig, Stanley Kubrick; Bush Mania, Haile Gerima; Crazy Quilt, John Korty; Northern Lights, Jon Hanson and Rob Nilsson; Sweet Sweetbck's Badasssss Song, Melvin Van Peebles; Scenic Route, Mark Rappaport.

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