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Black Beauty (1971 film) facts for kids

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Black Beauty
Black beauty 1971.jpg
North American Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Hill
Produced by Peter L. Andrews
Artur Brauner
Malcolm B. Heyworth
Executive producer:
Peter Hahne
Tony Tenser
Harry Alan Towers (uncredited)
Written by Anna Sewell (novel)
Wolf Mankowitz (screenplay)
James Hill (additional dialogue)
Starring Walter Slezak
Mark Lester
Patrick Mower
John Nettleton
Music by Lionel Bart
John Cameron
Cinematography Chris Menges
Editing by Ann Chegwidden
Pablo González del Amo
Distributed by Tigon British Film Productions
Release date(s) April 1971 (1971-04)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Black Beauty is a 1971 British drama film directed by James Hill and based on Anna Sewell's 1877 novel of the same name. It is the fourth feature film adaptation of Anna Sewell's story. Lionel Bart provided the rousing score.

The film's cast includes Walter Slezak, Mark Lester, Uschi Glas, Patrick Mower and John Nettleton.


Black Beauty is a stallion who, as a foal in England c. 1856, is born in front of a boy named Joe to whom it is given by his father. He is taken by a brutal squire, who takes over Joe's family farm when the bank forecloses on the loan. After the squire is killed, he is acquired by Irish Travellers. After a horse race and fist fight to determine leadership, Black Beauty runs away but is captured by a horse trader who then sells him to a Spanish circus.

In the circus, he learns many tricks before being given to Sir William, an arrogant British military man; and then is passed to Sir William's daughter Anne. Anne's fiancé is Lt. Gervaise Caldicott, a half French half English hussar officer whom Sir William accuses of being a coward and unworthy of his daughter's hand. When Gervaise volunteers for overseas active military service to prove his bravery his fiancée gives him Black Beauty as his steed.

Black Beauty then travels to the Northwest Frontier (scenes were shot in Spain), where Gervaise is killed in battle (one possibly based on the Russian presence in India and Afghanistan c. 1860).

Because of his bravery in battle, the horse is shipped back to England, but is then sold by Gervaise's comrade in arms, now a penniless and alcoholic army officer. The horse is used for hauling coal by another heartless owner, but acquires pneumonia. At his most sick, he is rescued by a friendly old woman who runs a farm for retired horses and her employee, some time after 1870. The employee turns out to be the boy named Joe whom Black Beauty knew when he was a foal, while the woman was Anna Sewell (author of the original Black Beauty book).


  • Mark Lester as Joe Evans
  • Walter Slezak as Hackenschmidt
  • Uschi Glas as Marie Hackenschmidt (credited as "Ursula Glas")
  • Peter Lee Lawrence as Lt. Gervaise Caldicott
  • Patrick Mower as Sam Greene
  • John Nettleton as Sir William
  • Maria Rohm as Lady Anne Piggott
  • Eddie Golden as Evans, Joe's Father
  • Clive Geraghty as Roger
  • John Hoey as Muldoon
  • Patrick Gardiner as Seamus O'Flaherty
  • Brian McGrath as Mark Beauchamp
  • Ronan Smith as Farmboy
  • John Franklyn as Coalman
  • Margaret Lacey as Anna Sewell


The film was shot on location in Ireland and Spain.

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