Lisa Morrison, along with a select committee of former horse-crazed girls (now horse-crazed women), get together to review some classic horse movies based on books.
Introducing “Movie Night at the Barn” How Do I Win Back My Ex Love
I belong to an informal book club. Almost all of the book club members are horse people. We get together for dinner every month, taking turns at each other’s houses. We drink wine and talk, mostly about horses and sometimes about the book (which is never about horses).
It got me thinking about all the horse books I read as a kid. You know, the classics: Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Misty of Chincoteague. All of them have been made into movies; most of them have been made into several movies. I thought it time to revisit the books and the movies.
Starting in March, I’ll be hosting “Movie Night at the Barn” to take a look at some of the classic horse movies based on books. We are still arguing about discussing which books and movies to include, but we have settled on the top 3 (as mentioned above).
A group of former horse-crazed girls will provide (hopefully) riveting commentary on a current screening of one movie based on each book/series. We will try to remain focused and not get too distracted by potential flashbacks (to a time when these books and movies were indelibly etched in our memories).
Here are some facts about our Top 3 that you might not know:
1. Black Beauty was written in 1877 by Anna Sewell. It was not her intention to write a book for children. Rather, she wanted to teach people about animal welfare and “to induce kindness, sympathy and an understanding treatment of horses.” The book was an instant success, but Sewell died shortly after the book was published.
Today, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all times, with more than 50 million copies sold. The book spawned 6 movies: in 1921, 1937, 1946, 1971, 1978 and 1994, 2 television series: The Adventures of Black Beauty (1972 – 1974) and The New Adventures of Black Beauty (1992 – 1993, in Australia) and a play (in 2011).
2. The Black Stallion was actually a series of books written by Walter Farley. In total, there were 21 Black Stallion books. The first book, which Farley started while still in high school, was first published in 1941.
Four movies have been based on The Black Stallion series:
- The Black Stallion (1979), based on the first book.
- The Black Stallion Returns (1983), based on the second book.
- Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990), based on the movies.
- The Young Black Stallion (2003), based on the final book.
3. Misty of Chincoteague was written by Marguerite Henry, who wrote more than 50 books, many of them about horses. There were 4 books in the Misty series. The first book was published in 1947 and was inspired by an actual Chincoteague pony named Misty (owned by Henry). The series share stories of the wild horses of Assateague Island, off the coast of Virginia, and their domesticated life on Chincoteague Island.
Many of Henry’s books, including the Misty series, were beautifully illustrated by Wesley Dennis. Dennis was known for his ability to capture expression in animals and contributed to over 150 books during his lifetime.
While there are already quite a few books on our list, I would love to hear your suggestions. What horse books have you read? What do you remember most about them? What did you think of the movie?
Stay tuned for our first review!