Sunday, 27 February 2011

National Velvet (1944) Because... IT'S ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Elizabeth Taylor is one of the only actresses to successfully make the transition from child star to grown up drama star. She was cute in films like National Velvet and Little Women, and she was also very good in Cleopatra, The V.I.Ps, and The Sandpiper. Unfortunately, she has been plagued with bad health throughout her life, and with eight marriages down the drain, she has had a tough emotional life to say the least. At the moment she is in hospital being treated for heart problems, but the doctors say that she is in a stable condition. Get well soon Elizabeth Taylor!

National Velvet

Twelve year old, Velvet Brown and her parents and three siblings live in a small village near Sussex and live a fairly normal life. Velvet dreams of having a horse of her own, and goes down to watch other horses run in the fields near her village most days after school.
It is there that she meets wanderer and handyman Mi Taylor, who is shocked when she manages to calm down a new horse called Pie. He also later realizes that Pie jumped the equivalent of the hardest jump at the Grand National, the biggest horse race in England.
Velvet's father takes Mi in because he claims that his late father had a connection with the village and their family. Velvet wins Pie in a lottery and tells her mum that she would like to enter him in the grand national. Her mother takes her to the attic and gives her the entry fee out of her reward for swimming the channel. Mi reluctantly agrees to train Pie for the national, after changing his mind about stealing money from the Brown family.

The day before the Grand National they meet the Jockey they have employed, and Velvet is disgusted to see that he doesn't care about the horse and doesn't even think he could win. Velvet asks Mi to cut all her hair off and dress her like a boy so she can race the horse in the National. She nearly wins but faints and falls of her horse just before the finish line. The doctors on the track realize she is a girl and there is a huge scandal but she becomes known throughout the country as "the girl who nearly won the Grand National".
This is a really sweet film and it gives Mickey Rooney his best shot at a grown up role. He really does very well in it, too. I am definitely not a Mickey Rooney fan. He has a bad case of small-man syndrome. He has to act big and annoying to make up for his height. No offense. Elizabeth Taylor does an amazing job playing Velvet. She was only twelve at the time, just my age. Angela Lansbury is really funny as the "sophisticated" older sister. Donald Crisp and Anne Revere are great as Velvet's parents, and Anne Revere is amazing and really deserved the Best Supporting Actress award she received at the Oscars. The show stealer, though is the toddler who plays Velvet's younger brother. He is adorable!!!!

My family have plans to watch Mrs. Miniver (1942, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright) and then The Odd Couple (1967, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau) tonight, which means starting with tears and ending with hysterical laughter. And my sister spending ages trying to say Greer Garson in a Scottish accent. It comes out "Grere Gaaason". It's hilarious :D!

I am wondering about how to set up my reviews. I usually do them like this, sectioned of into different parts, but I also have done them as one long post like in my My Fair Lady post. Which do you prefer?



Page said...

You picked such a fun movie to celebrate Liz's birthday!

Happy Birthday Dame Elizabeth, you beautiful girl.

Audrey said...

This is a great film that I really enjoyed as a child. I agree with you about Mickey Rooney. Haha.

The only movie that I can think of where I was actually impressed with his performance is in The Human Comedy.

Have fun watching Mrs. Miniver. That's one of my all-time favorites.

Personally, I like the shorter posts. :)

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