National Velvet
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Pandro Berman, the producer, and Clarence Brown, the director, have made it into a conservatively exciting and engaging film whose chief virtue is its acting, especially a letter-perfect, beautifully felt performance by Mickey Rooney as the jockey."
‑ Manny Farber, The New Republic
"National Velvet is a horse picture with wide general appeal. The production also focuses attention on a new dramatic find -- moppet Elizabeth Taylor."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"I think that [Elizabeth Taylor] and the picture are wonderful."
‑ James Agee, The Nation
"Perhaps the only time Elizabeth Taylor's costar matched her visual scene stealing. He's a horse, albeit a gelding."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of the best horse movies; Rooney, Taylor are fine"
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"National Velvet is not merely sure to delight children and the child in most adults; it is also an interesting psychological study of hysterical obsession, conversion mania, preadolescent sexuality."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"This is a charmer for boys and girls of all ages, with a captivating performance from the young Liz Taylor as Velvet."
‑ , Time Out
"Assigned her first starring role, Elizabeth Taylor, then 11, gives a compelling performance in what's one of the most likeable and popular child-animal tales."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Great family movie; even better for horse lovers."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Gorgeous photography and a great musical score win through in a film hampered by its hopelessly slow pacing."
‑ , Film4
"A good movie for kids and armchair Freudians."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"This fresh and delightful Metro picture, based on Enid Bagnold's novel of some years back, tells by far the most touching story of youngsters and of animals since Lassie was coming home."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Watching a young Elizabeth Taylor work is like watching a seed grow into a blossoming flower."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"Winsome horse story family film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
""Taylor at her most fetching""
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for National Velvet on Rotten Tomatoes