"National Velvet" Is Released
National Velvet is a 1944 film based on the novel by Enid Bagnold, published in 1935.
It stars Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and a young Elizabeth Taylor.
In 2003 National Velvet was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Although National Velvet was the first starring role for 11-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, the early part of the film belongs to Mickey Rooney in the showier role of Mike Taylor, a headstrong English ex-jockey. Soured on life by a serious accident, Mike plans to steal from the country family that has taken him in, but his resolve is weakened by the kindness of young Velvet (Taylor). The two find a common bond in their love of horses. Velvet wins an "unbreakable" horse in a raffle, and enters the animal in the Grand National Sweepstakes. Though Mike is unable to ride the horse, he aids Velvet in her plan to disguise herself as a jockey; she wins the race...but the story isn't over quite yet. Co-starring as Velvet's mother is Anne Revere, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance. National Velvet is based on the novel by Enid Bagnold. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide