National Velvet
National Velvet (1944)

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… More

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Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: December 14, 1944
DVD Release Date: July 11, 2000
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Manny Farber
The New Republic

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.

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Variety Staff

National Velvet is a horse picture with wide general appeal. The production also focuses attention on a new dramatic find -- moppet Elizabeth Taylor.

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Josh Larsen

Donald Crisp and Anne Revere save this treacly family drama from choking on its own sentimentality.

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TIME Magazine

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.

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Time Out

This is a charmer for boys and girls of all ages, with a captivating performance from the young Liz Taylor as Velvet.

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James Agee
The Nation

I think that [Elizabeth Taylor] and the picture are wonderful.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

A good movie for kids and armchair Freudians.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

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Emanuel Levy

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.

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More reviews for National Velvet

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
A giant cup full of feel good. Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, two of the greatest child actors to grace the silver screen, are put together to make one of… More
John Ballantine
There is a curiosity in seeing Liz Taylor as a child actor and Mickey Rooney is always a delight but this film is pure kids' play. Nothing terribly… More
Cindy I
A warm and fuzzy family film about a young girl's love of her horse and her pursuit of a win at the Grand Nationals horse race. This stars an incredibly… More
Constanza Boutter
This was one of the first colour films. Liz Taylor as the girl in one of she?s first films. Good ethics of Velvet's parents, particularly her mother is… More
Leigh Ryan
Sarah Burton
This film can always give you a warm glow, but Taylor is way too earnest and the story way too inconceivable to be enjoyable.