Black Beauty (1921 film)

Black Beauty is a 1921 American silent film version of Anna Sewell's novel of the same name. Black Beauty is an autobiography of a horse, who tells the story of his life and of the people surrounding it.[1] This film exists in an incomplete state with four of seven reels preserved at the Library of Congress.[2][3][4]

Black Beauty
Film poster
Directed byDavid Smith
Produced byAlbert E. Smith
Screenplay by
Based onthe novel
by Anna Sewell
Starring
CinematographyReginald Lyons
Production
company
Distributed byVitagraph Company of America
Release date
  • January 1921 (1921-01) (U.S.)
Running time
70 minutes; 7 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

A competing/rival independent film of the same story was also released in early 1921 starring Claire Adams and Pat O'Malley. It was produced by Eskay Harris Feature Film Company.[5]

Plot

As summarized in a film publication,[6] a human love story was added to the horse story, which includes a fox hunt and race. At a house party given by Squire Gordon (Steppling), his daughter Jessie (Paige) and Harry Blomefield (Morrison) are playing games with the children, although they have reached the age where Harry realizes that he loves her. Among the guests is Jack Beckett (Webb), who lives by his wits and has gained entree as a favorite of the haughty Lady Wynsaring (Farrington). Squire Gordon gives Lord Wynwaring (Peacocke) 800 pounds for his wife's charity, which Jack steals from the Wynwaring room. During a fox hunt the next morning, Jessie's brother George (Kenny) is killed in a fall from his horse. Jack puts the stolen money in the pocket of the dead man and tells Jessie that her brother was a thief. To prevent him from telling her mother, Jessie agrees to marry Jack when she comes of age. Jessie meanwhile realizes that she loves Harry, who cannot understand her wish to marry Jack. Several years pass and Harry tries to elope with Jessie, but is foiled. After a race sequence, Black Beauty carries Harry to victory and to Jessie, foiling the plans of the villain Jack.

Cast

Production

For its 1929 re-release, the film was cut to 35 minutes.

References

  1. Black Beauty at silentera.com
  2. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress page 17 published by The American Film Institute, c.1978
  3. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Black Beauty
  4. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893–1993: Black Beauty
  5. Black Beauty (II), IMDb, released March 1921. Retrieved June 16, 2018
  6. ""Black Beauty" Characterized by Thrills and Extravagant Production". Film Daily. Vol. 15 no. 7. New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc. Jan 9, 1921. p. 3. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
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