Directed by Carroll Ballard and starring an Arabian horse named Cass Ole as the Black Stallion. The good human supporting cast includes Kelly Reno as Alec Ramsey, the boy who is shipwrecked with a black stallion (how lucky is that?), Mickey Rooney as Henry the horse trainer, Teri Garr as Alec’s mother, and Hoyt Axton as his father. As you can see, this is not exactly a heavyweight cast, so how does this film get into my top 100? For one thing, the cinematography was easily the best of that year even though it wasn’t even nominated. This film brought back memories of Fury, the Saturday TV show I used to watch as a kid. The music is outstanding and so is the editing (which was nominated, but lost to the “big” movies. The story is simple enough. A ship burns and sinks and the only two survivors are a boy and a black stallion. They bond together on a deserted island and then are rescued. The climax of the film has the horse winning an important race with Alec as his rider, but I thought it was anti-climatic and that they were both better off on the island. The real beauty of the film is the first hour. This is one of those little gems that you occasionally find and can comfortably put a label on as one of the best family films of all time. It is also the greatest animal film ever made; you can keep Lassie and Ol’ Yeller. Try riding them. If my kids had been young when this film came out, I would have taken them to see it in record time. Make sure you make a point to rent it for your kids, because there isn’t a hell of a lot out there for good family entertainment that actually has a lot of substance. This is a must see film for people of all ages.