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 10 things you didn’t know about the black stallion movie:
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.
Reno Had No Problem Filming the Riding Scenes
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The Most Difficult Scene to Film Was the Shipwreck
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.
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.
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.
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:
No, The Black Stallion movie is not based on a true story, but on a children’s novel written by Walter Farley.
Throughout the film, the beloved black stallion was called the Black.
There are 20 books in The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.
Also, see our other interesting Horse TV & Movie guides here.