Synopsis of Movie
The most recent screen adaptation of Anna Sewell’s classic 1877 novel may also have been the most faithful to its original text. The film retained Sewell’s first-person horse point-of-view narration, voiced by human actor Alan Cumming.
Black Beauty narrates the tale from his retirement pasture, where he reminisces on the varied treatment he has received from the hands of humans, starting with his birth. From his loving original owners, Beauty moves into a life of slavery, forced to serve as a rented workhorse to cruel aristocrats.
Kinder treatment comes when Beauty is sold to a sickly cabbie, who reminds the horse that not all humans are evil. Along the way, Black Beauty engages in a sweet-natured but tragically short-lived love affair with a horse named Ginger.
The darker aspects of Sewell’s novel (a stable fire, a bout with pneumonia and especially the cruel treatment from the horse’s aristocratic owners) were not shortchanged by the film’s makers, but neither was the idyllic, romantic view of the 19th-century English countryside as seen through the eyes of a beautiful black horse. Lyrical and poignant, the film was a clear alternative to noisier, flashier children’s fare being produced elsewhere.
Movie Release History1994 - Black Beauty
Movie Sub Categorieslive-action
Movie StudioWarner Bros.
CastFarmer Grey Sean Bean
Jerry Barker David Thewlis
John Manly Jim Carter
Squire Gordon Peter Davison
Reuben Smith Alun Armstrong
Mr. York John McEnery
Lady Wexmire Eleanor Bron
Lord Wexmire Peter Cook
Lord George Adrian Ross Magenty
Black Beauty Alan Cumming
Head Groom Lyndon Davies
Jessica Gordon Georgina Armstrong
Molly Gordon Gemma Paternoster
Alfred Gordon Anthony Walters
Mistress Gordon Rosalind Ayres