National Velvet Overview:

National Velvet (1944) was a Drama - Family Film directed by Clarence Brown and produced by Clarence Brown and Pandro S. Berman.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Enid Bagnold published in 1935.


Here is the poignant story of Velvet Brown (a 12-year-old Taylor), a young, working-class girl who wins a horse in a raffle and, with the help of a skittish, gun-shy ex-jockey (Rooney), trains it to enter the prestigious Grand National race. When their jockey pulls out, Velvet disguises herself as a boy and rides to victory in a thrilling race sequence. This uplifting adaptation of Bagnold's novel features stunning photography of coastal England.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


National Velvet was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2003.

Academy Awards 1945 --- Ceremony Number 18 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActressAnne RevereWon
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary; Interior Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Mildred GriffNominated
Best CinematographyLeonard SmithNominated
Best DirectorClarence BrownNominated
Best Film EditingRobert J. KernWon

BlogHub Articles:

This World Needs Its Dreamers: Clarence Brown?s National Velvet (Exclusive Guest Post by Author Gwenda Young)

By Guest Post on Dec 4, 2018 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

?This World Needs Its Dreamers” Clarence Brown?s National Velvet (1944) Exclusive Guest Post by Author Gwenda Young In a reappraisal of National Velvet written in the 1960s, Pauline Kael observed that ?it touches areas in our experience that movies rarely touch ? the passions and obsessions ... Read full article

National Velvet (1944)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 24, 2018 From 4 Star Films

“Everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly, once in his life.” ~ Anne Revere as Mrs. Brown There’s been many a boxing and a ball sport movie and so it seems?only fair?that there be room for at least one more Technicolor horse drama, especially one with?the brea... Read full article

National Velvet

By Amanda Garrett on Aug 30, 2017 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing National Velvet (1945). The classic family film stars Elizabeth Taylor as a young girl who rides her beloved horse in the Grand National race. This article is part of The 2017 Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Journeys in Classic Film. Aug. 31 is Taylor's SUTS Day. ... Read full article

ClassicFlix (Teen Scene): National Velvet (1944)

By Virginie Pronovost on Jun 28, 2017 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

From March 2015 to April 2017, I was writing the monthly Teen Scene column for the website ClassicFlix. My objective was to promote classic films among teenagers and young adults. Due to the establishing of a new version of the website, it?s now more difficult to access to the old version and read t... Read full article

National Velvet (1944)

By Beatrice on Nov 18, 2014 From Flickers in Time

National Velvet Directed by Clarence Brown Written by Theodore Reeves and Helen Deutsch from a novel by Enid Bagnold 1944/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Repeat viewing/Netflix rental A quite enjoyable family entertainment about a girl who loves horses and a boy who helps make her dreams come true. ?Ev... Read full article

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Quotes from

Edwina Brown: I'm so angry I could shake you!
Malvolia "Mally" Brown: I only wanted to explain about the polish...
Edwina Brown: you told Miss Sims I was meeting a *boy*! It's a wonder you didn't tell her who and where!
Malvolia "Mally" Brown: I didn't know where!

[Mrs. Brown is talking with Velvet in the attic]
Mrs. Brown: We're alike. I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life. I was twenty when they said a woman couldn't swim the Channel. You're twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember, Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.

Mr. Hallam: So you're to win the gelding, are you Velvet?
Velvet: Oh, of course I'm to win.
Mr. Hallam: There are ways of arranging it, aren't there? And your father's a clever man...
Velvet: Oh, I didn't bother him, Mr. Hallam. I just arranged it with God.

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Facts about

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 3, 1947 with Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Donald Crisp reprising their film roles.
Ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008.
One of the few films to be shown on commercial network television after being shown on local stations, rather than the other way around.
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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1945

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National Film Registry

National Velvet

Released 1944
Inducted 2003

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Also directed by Clarence Brown

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Also produced by Clarence Brown

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Also released in 1944

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