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10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Black Stallion Movie

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Black Stallion Movie

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Just about every equestrian grew up watching The Black Stallion movie. No matter how many times you may have watched this classic, there are some unique facts about The Black Stallion movie that will surprise you.

The thrilling flick of The Black Stallion, which is about a young boy named Alec who was shipwrecked along with a black Arabian stallion called the Black on a deserted island, was released in 1979. The hit film was based on Walter Farley’s 1941 children’s novel.

After the release of the movie, many people quickly fell in love with the story and the beautiful black Arabian stallion.

Here are ten facts about The Black Stallion movie:

1. Kelly Reno, Who Played Alec, Accepted the Role Because He Wanted To Learn to Swim

Kelly Reno, who was 12 at the time of the film, accepted the role because he wanted to learn to swim. In order to film the movie’s underwater scenes, Reno took swim lessons prior to filming.

2. Reno Had No Problem Filming the Riding Scenes

Reno, actor from The Black Stallion

Since Reno grew up on a ranch in southern California, he did many of the riding and action scenes himself in the movie. However, his acting career was cut short after he sustained serious injuries from a car accident. After the accident, he spent 20 years working on a cattle ranch.

3. The Black Stallion Was Filmed All Over the World

In order to achieve the stunning scenes throughout the movie, several film locations were used around the world. The locations used for shooting the movie include Toronto, Sardinia, and Rome.

4. Four Horses Were Used for the Black Stallion

During the filming process, there were four main horses used to portray the Black. The two horses that were used the most during filming were Cass Ole and Fae Jur.

Cass Ole appeared in 80% of the movie’s scenes. The Arabian had to have his white leg markings and white star painted black in order to appear pure black.

Though he was used for the majority of the role, his owners stated that he was not to be used for any racing, swimming and fighting scenes.

5. Cass Ole Was a National Horse Riding Champion in Real Life

The stunning Arabian had a successful showing career before becoming a movie star and even won a national championship. In 1975, Cass Ole was a national champion in Arabian Western Pleasure.

A year later, he was a reserve national champion in Arabian Ladies Side Saddle, and in 1976 as well as 1977 he finished in the top ten in Arabian English Pleasure.

Throughout his time as a show horse, he won over 50 championships and 20 reserve championships. Over his seven-year show career, he won the high point King Saud Trophy of the American Horse Show Association (now known as the United States Equestrian Federation).

6. Other Horses Had to Be Brought In For the Swimming Scenes

Even though there were four main horses used for the Black, none of them were comfortable in the water for the swimming scenes. Horses had to be brought in France’s Camargue region, which contains the largest river delta in Western Europe.

The horses brought in were gray, so they had to be painted black in order to fit the part.

7. The Most Difficult Scene to Film Was the Shipwreck

The Black Stallion Shipwreck movie scene setting

Reno has recalled that the hardest scene to film for the movie was the shipwreck. The scene was shot at night and the crew added smoke, rain, and wind to create the effect of a storm.

Reno filmed the majority of the scenes in a tank that he couldn’t touch the bottom of while the crew produced waves.

While Reno and the Black were filming in the water in the foreground, a realistic-looking ship was being burned behind them. It was filmed at Cinecittà Studios and took three weeks to get all the footage.

8. The Producers Originally Wanted The Famed Stallion El Mokhtar for the Role

Originally, the producers were wanting to cast the Arabian El Mokhtar for the role. El Mokhtar was an Eytptian bred stallion that was highly prized for his incredible bloodlines.

Though El Mokhtar’s owners wouldn’t let him be featured in The Black Stallion, he ended up starting in the sequel The Black Stallion Returns alongside Cass Ole.

9. The Black Stallion Made $38 Million At the Box Office

The film proved to be a big hit at the box office, making an impressive $38 million. The budget for the film was about $4 million, proving the film to be a success.

10. Author Walter Farley Was Skeptical on His Book Being Made Into a Movie

When author Walter Farley first heard talk of his book becoming a film, he was skeptical. Farley was worried that his novel would not translate well to the big screen.

Fortunately, he was happy with the outcome of the movie as it succeeded in his expectations.

See an interview with The Black Stallion’s cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel, below:


Is The Black Stallion Movie Based on a True Story?

No, The Black Stallion movie is not based on a true story, but on a children’s novel written by Walter Farley.

What Was The Black Stallion’s Name?

Throughout the film, the beloved black stallion was called the Black.

How Many Black Stallion Books Are There?

There are 20 books in The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.

Also, see our other interesting Horse TV & Movie guides here.

Mary Ann Mori

Thursday 16th of March 2023

The Black Stallion is a very beautiful movie for young AND old.

Rick Tooke

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

We're did Docs Keeping Time played Black Beauty?


Sunday 29th of January 2023

I have only read the first book and I think the book and the movie is exactly the same I just watched the whole movie today and I've actually have the black stallion in my sole do you want to know why because I've watched the movie before on netflix and it is not on netflix anymore it is now on youtube and why I watched it again is because the last time I watched it I could see the black stallion everywhere I went and THIS IS NOT A JOKE. and I'm starting to get as fast as the black stallion and I've gone through what the black Stallion has gone through Like I said THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!!


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

This is one of the best films ever made. The story line is awesome and brings out the child in adults and children. It brings out the best for people because it is about survival, commitment, resilience, hope and dreams, love, respect and discipline. The hope of the individual, the elder wiseman who quietly shared his views( the man with the white horse), the patient loving mother, the forgotten jockey all played such important roles to the young boy. Where is that man today? There is too much violence in present day movies. Is that because we live in that kind of culture?


Saturday 13th of August 2022

My absolute favorite movie as a kid, most of my friends had horses. I took many lessons. Now I have black standard poodles from grand champion blood lines. Not exactly the same but they do prance and command attention. Most people ask me if my dogs are influencers, so funny. I’d give anything to be riding but I need lower back surgery and or sI joint surgery, which I have refused. So now I admire.