For those unaware of National Velvet, it’s a Mickey Rooney film released in 1944, co-starring Donald Crisp, who’d been around since the Griffth days (Broken Blossoms), a very young Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Revere, and Angela Lansbury, in her second appearance on film. Her first was Gaslight.

National Velvet also has a few other things going for it.

It was directed by Clarence Brown, who’d been at it since 1915, and had to his credit the likes of The Last of the Mohicans, Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie, Romance, Inspiration, Possessed, Emma, Anna Karenina, The Rains Came, The Yearling, and The Secret Garden.

I had always felt that Kodachrome had been used for some exteriors. Known as Technicolor mono pack, it saw use in Dive Bomber (1941), Captains of the Clouds (1942), Lassie Come Home (1943), and a few others.

It was shot by Leonard Smith, another name that folks today may not find familiar. He also began in the industry in 1915. You’ll know his later works – A Day at the Races, At the Circus, Lassie Come Home, Courage of Lassie and The Yearling.

National Velvet appears to be full three-strip, but I’m still researching in possibility that mono pack was used for some exteriors. I believe I’ve identified some. As far as overall quality, it’s a typical Warner Archive and Warner MPI meticulous restoration.

I’ve seen prints of this film over the years, but never nitrate originals, and I’ve never seen it look like this.

Magnificent in all respects.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH
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Robert Harris

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Andrew Budgell

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National Velvet has long been one of my most highly sought-after Blu-ray releases, so reading this glowing review is music to my ears. I've experienced this film on VHS, DVD, and on the big screen at the TCM Film Festival, but it's always had a muddy quality to it. Viewing the film on Blu-ray is going to be a revelation! November 16 can't come soon enough.
 

MarkantonyII

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Mark
For those unaware of National Velvet, it's a Mickey Rooney film released in 1944, co-starring Donald Crisp, who'd been around since the Griffth days (Broken Blossoms), a very young Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Revere, and Angela Lansbury, in her second appearance on film. Her first was Gaslight.

National Velvet also has a few other things going for it.

It was directed by Clarence Brown, who'd been at it since 1915, and had to his credit the likes of The Last of the Mohicans, Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie, Romance, Inspiration, Possessed, Emma, Anna Karenina, The Rains Came, The Yearling, and The Secret Garden.

I had always felt that Kodachrome had been used for some exteriors. Known as Technicolor mono pack, it saw use in Dive Bomber (1941), Captains of the Clouds (1942), Lassie Come Home (1943), and a few others.

It was shot by Leonard Smith, another name that folks today may not find familiar. He also began in the industry in 1915. You'll know his later works - A Day at the Races, At the Circus, Lassie Come Home, Courage of Lassie and The Yearling.

National Velvet appears to be full three-strip, but I’m still researching in possibility that mono pack was used for some exteriors. I believe I’ve identified some. As far as overall quality, it’s a typical Warner Archive and Warner MPI meticulous restoration.

I've seen prints of this film over the years, but never nitrate originals, and I've never seen it look like this.

Magnificent in all respects.


Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH
Mr Harris, Mr Feltenstein said in a podcast linked in Warner Archive thread that exteriors are Monopak.

All the best

M
 

Tom Blizzard

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Great news and what a coincidence. I've had it on DVD for over 8 years, unopened. Just happened to take off the cellophane covering last week and view it for the first time. Enjoyed it very much. I wondered why I'd buy it on DVD and not Blu-ray. Now I know. Thanks. Can't wait to get it.
 

roxy1927

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vincent parisi
Interestingly some shots which I thought were filmed outside on the MGM lot such as Lansbury and Taylor walking through the village were actually filmed inside the studio as claimed by Lansbury. The sets are so realistic and so is the lighting. Amazing. The sun is so bright I wonder that everyone and everything didn't melt. Bless Angela that she's still with us. It was sad enough seeing Stockwell go. Another link to MGM gone.
 

benbess

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I'm listening to the audiobook of a biography of Elizabeth Taylor by Donald Spoto, and learned in it that at the age of 12 she actively campaigned for the role in National Velvet. One of the other actresses being considered was Gene Tierney. There's actually a newish article in UK Vogue that has a more tame version of the story of how Taylor got the role, as well as another somewhat shocking thing about the movie.


"Taylor’s mother, Sara, approached MGM bosses to insist that Velvet Brown was the perfect first leading role for her daughter, a keen equestrian. Filming is said to have been paused to allow the young Elizabeth time to get a little taller, and according to the determined actor, she willed on that growth spurt herself. “In three months, I’d grown three inches,” she’s recorded as saying in J Randy Taraborrelli’s 2006 biography, Elizabeth. “That single-mindedness, or stubbornness if you will, is as much a part of me as the colour of my eyes."

A guaranteed future in Hollywood wasn’t the only thing young Elizabeth took away from the National Velvet set. She fell and broke her back during filming, an accident that left her plagued by spinal difficulties all her life. The tumble from the horse in the film might look like it was the work of a stunt double, yet it is Elizabeth taking the scripted — and very real — fall."

And here's another item from imdb....

"Elizabeth Taylor fell in love with King Charles while visiting the Rivera Country Club. He was acquired by MGM for $800 to appear in this movie with her. Elizabeth spent time each day riding, caring, and bonding with him in order to prepare for her role in this movie. King Charles was reported to be aggressive to his handlers except for Taylor. She and King had a special bond that became evident throughout the movie. At the end of the movie, Elizabeth found out that she had been gifted with "The Pie" and she and King Charles remained together until his death."