The Black Stallion Returns (1983)

PG | 103 mins | Adventure, Children's works | 25 March 1983

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HISTORY

Credits are preceded by the following statement: "Every five years, the tribes of the Sahara race their finest horses. The race is a great test of stamina for both horse and rider. To the victor go the best horses from the losing tribes, bringing prestige, wealth and power. Strongest and fastest of all is the Black Stallion who means more than anything to young Alec Ramsey. The original Berber owners of the stallion have come to reclaim their champion in time for the race. But there is also a rogue tribe, the Uruk, whose evil leader, Kurr, has come to stop the Black..."
       End credits include the following statements: “Filmed on location in Italy; Kingdom of Morocco; Djanet, Algeria"; “Zoetrope Studios wishes to gratefully thank The Haras of his Royal Highness The Prince Moulay Abdullah of Morocco, The Boeing Company, Tim Boxell, Patti Claybourne, Bethany Coleman, The Cuello Family, Marcia Dalva, Fantasy Films, Donana Farms, Fort Mason Foundation, Fox Movietonenews, Nancy Giebink, Dr. Marvin Ginsberg, Melissa Gold, Goldwyn Sound Facilities, J. B. Hirsch, Jerry and Effie Hoffmann, Italian Ministry of Defense, Nicholas Kahn, Barbara Kassal, Ned Kopp, Trudy Legge, Lucasfilm, Lillian Michelson, Monaco Labs, The National Haras of Morocco, Elias Nicola, Sherry Nisewaner, One Pass Film and Video, Persistent Image, Kristine Peterson, Mark Radcliffe, Ruth Reno, Aggie Rodgers, Ali Ben Said, Frank Simeone, Laura Kate Stevens, Studio C, Hubert Vestal, Isabella Wood. And the children: Matthew, Cory and Marshal Dalva, and Nick Sternberg”; “The black stallion is portrayed by Cass-Olé, owned by San Antonio Arabians.”
       The 22 Jun 1981 LAHExam announced that executive producer Francis Ford Coppola was to start production ... More Less

Credits are preceded by the following statement: "Every five years, the tribes of the Sahara race their finest horses. The race is a great test of stamina for both horse and rider. To the victor go the best horses from the losing tribes, bringing prestige, wealth and power. Strongest and fastest of all is the Black Stallion who means more than anything to young Alec Ramsey. The original Berber owners of the stallion have come to reclaim their champion in time for the race. But there is also a rogue tribe, the Uruk, whose evil leader, Kurr, has come to stop the Black..."
       End credits include the following statements: “Filmed on location in Italy; Kingdom of Morocco; Djanet, Algeria"; “Zoetrope Studios wishes to gratefully thank The Haras of his Royal Highness The Prince Moulay Abdullah of Morocco, The Boeing Company, Tim Boxell, Patti Claybourne, Bethany Coleman, The Cuello Family, Marcia Dalva, Fantasy Films, Donana Farms, Fort Mason Foundation, Fox Movietonenews, Nancy Giebink, Dr. Marvin Ginsberg, Melissa Gold, Goldwyn Sound Facilities, J. B. Hirsch, Jerry and Effie Hoffmann, Italian Ministry of Defense, Nicholas Kahn, Barbara Kassal, Ned Kopp, Trudy Legge, Lucasfilm, Lillian Michelson, Monaco Labs, The National Haras of Morocco, Elias Nicola, Sherry Nisewaner, One Pass Film and Video, Persistent Image, Kristine Peterson, Mark Radcliffe, Ruth Reno, Aggie Rodgers, Ali Ben Said, Frank Simeone, Laura Kate Stevens, Studio C, Hubert Vestal, Isabella Wood. And the children: Matthew, Cory and Marshal Dalva, and Nick Sternberg”; “The black stallion is portrayed by Cass-Olé, owned by San Antonio Arabians.”
       The 22 Jun 1981 LAHExam announced that executive producer Francis Ford Coppola was to start production in Sep 1981 on a sequel to The Black Stallion (1979, see entry), with stars Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney reprising their roles. Although no U.S. photography was planned for the picture, Rooney’s scenes were to be filmed in New York City on sets designed to resemble locations in Rome, Morocco and Algeria. The actor’s obligations to his musical revue, Sugar Babies, and his television series, One of the Boys (NBC, 23 Jan 1982 to 24 Apr 1982), made travel impossible for him. Rooney does not appear in the viewed print, nor is he credited onscreen. A news item in the 15 Jul 1981 Var mentioned that a second Black Stallion sequel was planned, following the completion of the film, which was referenced as Black Stallion II. However, no second sequel has been made to date.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files stated that principal photography began 14 Sep 1981, and a release was planned for summer, 1982. The Black Stallion Returns marked the directorial debut of Robert Dalva, who had previously earned an Academy Award nomination for editing The Black Stallion.
       The climactic horserace scene, filmed on location in the Sahara Desert over a fifteen-day period, featured 400 background actors, 100 horses, and fifty camels. The sequence was completed with the help of the Terra Flite Image Stabilization System, which involved a remote-control camera, mounted on a twenty-foot long “arm,” able to take close-up footage of a galloping horse without frightening the animal. At the time, the device required five crewmembers to operate it, or six, if the director chose to monitor the action as it was being photographed. The sequence also required a crew of 110 people, many of whom spoke no English, so Dalva used detailed storyboards to overcome the language barrier. Aware that the Moroccan sky is often white with dust during the summer, Dalva waited until winter to film in the desert, when the sky was “an intense blue.” According to the production notes, photography was completed in Feb 1982.
       Because the source material, Walter Farley’s 1945 novel, The Black Stallion Returns, was a fantasy about a country with which the author was unfamiliar, the producers faced the challenge of making the story plausible. Therefore, the modest kingdom of Berber chieftain Abu Ben Ishak, constructed in the hamlet of Tafraout in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco, was built by local workers using timber and mud. Costume designer Danda Ortona recreated traditional Saharan costumes by purchasing Moroccan cotton, which was then hand-dyed and cut by her staff. The Boeing “Pan Am Clipper,” seen in the trans-Atlantic flight sequence, was also a reproduction, as the last of these planes was dismantled in 1952. The full-scale model was built from Boeing’s original blueprints, and was later donated to the Italian Air Force’s museum in Guidonia, Italy.
       The Black Stallion Returns was released in the U.S. on 25 Mar 1983. Stars Kelly Reno, Teri Garr, and Cass-Olé, the horse cast in the title role, made a promotional appearance on the 1983 Easter Seal Network Telethon 27 Mar 1983, which featured a performance by Cass-Olé, supervised by trainer Corky Randall. Reno and Cass-Olé also appeared at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, CA, on 3 Apr 1983, for the “Black Stallion Returns Family Day,” which featured a twenty-minute performance by the horse, and a sweepstakes drawing for a pure-bred Arabian colt. The Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park promoted the film during its “Spring Fever Week” celebration, from 26 Mar through 3 Apr 1983. The May Company department store chain hosted a two-week promotion at its thirty-four Southern CA stores, which included a prominently-featured video presentation. Cass-Olé appeared at the May Company-Eastland in West Covina, CA, on 2 Apr 1983.
       Reviews were mixed for The Black Stallion Returns, with several critics comparing the film unfavorably to its predecessor. However, both the National Education Association (NEA) and the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) praised the picture as ideal family entertainment. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1981.
---
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 1983
p. 3, 14.
LAHExam
22 Jun 1981.
---
LAHExam
29 Mar 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1983
p. 6.
New York Times
27 Mar 1983
p. 54.
Newsweek
11 Apr 1983.
---
Variety
15 Jul 1981.
---
Variety
30 Mar 1983
p, 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Terra-Flite system des
Terra-Flite system des
Terra-Flite op
ART DIRECTORS
Draughtsman
Draughtsman
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Ed asst
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Propman
Const supv
Asst set dresser
Painter
Head carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus prod by
Mus ed
SOUND
Loc sd/boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Foley artist
Transfer op
Sd eff rec
Sd eff rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hair stylist/make-up
Asst hair stylist/make-up
Asst hair stylist/make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Horse trainer
Horse coord
Asst trainer
Asst trainer
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Spec asst to the prods
Exec asst
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Casting, Los Angeles
Casting, Rome
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr, Algeria
Loc mgr, Algeria
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Cashier
Cashier
Scr supv
Generator man
Horse asst
Horse asst
Nurse
Cam truck rigger/driver
Cam truck des
STAND INS
Riding double
Riding double
Riding double
Riding double
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col control
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Black Stallion Returns by Walter Farley (New York, 1945).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Return of the Black Stallion
Release Date:
25 March 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 March 1983
New York opening: week of 27 March 1983
Production Date:
14 September 1981--February 1982
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
16 May 1983
Copyright Number:
PA181380
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Color by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26957
SYNOPSIS

In 1947, young Alec Ramsay rides his prized horse, the Black, unaware that Berber chieftain Abu Ben Ishak and his granddaughter, Tabari, have arrived in nearby New York City to reclaim the horse, originally named “Gitane,” which was stolen from them several years earlier. The Black was specially bred by the Berbers for a horserace held every five years by the Sahara Desert tribes, in which the victor wins the finest horses of the defeated tribes. Also in the city is Kurr, leader of the rogue Uruk tribe, who is intent on preventing the Black from entering the race. That night, Kurr sets fire to the Ramsays’ barn, but is foiled when neighbors and firemen come to the family’s aid. In the confusion, Abu and Tabari seize the Black and place him in a trailer. Alec follows them and hides inside the vehicle, hoping for an opportunity to free the horse when the Berbers reach their destination. However, Alec is thwarted by a group of Berbers waiting at the dock in New York Harbor when they arrive. He is bound and gagged as he watches the ship carrying the Black set sail for Casablanca, Morocco. After cutting himself loose with a pocketknife, Alec phones his mother to assure her of his safety. Ignoring her demand that he come home, Alec stows away on a seaplane bound for Casablanca. Cold and hunger draw Alec out of hiding, and he is caught trying to steal a crewmember’s dinner. When the plane reaches Casablanca, Alec is held at a French Foreign Legion fort to be returned to New York City the ... +


In 1947, young Alec Ramsay rides his prized horse, the Black, unaware that Berber chieftain Abu Ben Ishak and his granddaughter, Tabari, have arrived in nearby New York City to reclaim the horse, originally named “Gitane,” which was stolen from them several years earlier. The Black was specially bred by the Berbers for a horserace held every five years by the Sahara Desert tribes, in which the victor wins the finest horses of the defeated tribes. Also in the city is Kurr, leader of the rogue Uruk tribe, who is intent on preventing the Black from entering the race. That night, Kurr sets fire to the Ramsays’ barn, but is foiled when neighbors and firemen come to the family’s aid. In the confusion, Abu and Tabari seize the Black and place him in a trailer. Alec follows them and hides inside the vehicle, hoping for an opportunity to free the horse when the Berbers reach their destination. However, Alec is thwarted by a group of Berbers waiting at the dock in New York Harbor when they arrive. He is bound and gagged as he watches the ship carrying the Black set sail for Casablanca, Morocco. After cutting himself loose with a pocketknife, Alec phones his mother to assure her of his safety. Ignoring her demand that he come home, Alec stows away on a seaplane bound for Casablanca. Cold and hunger draw Alec out of hiding, and he is caught trying to steal a crewmember’s dinner. When the plane reaches Casablanca, Alec is held at a French Foreign Legion fort to be returned to New York City the next morning. Using his limited French vocabulary, Alec asks the Moroccan stable boys at the fort to help him find the famous Berber horse, Gitane. The boys respond by dressing him in native garb, sneaking him out of the fort, and bringing him to a truck occupied by Kurr and his henchman, Tiny Man. Alec asks Kurr’s help in recovering the Black, telling him that the animal will be arriving in the city later that week. Kurr informs the boy that all of the horses and riders will stop at an oasis called Sali on their way to Wadi Draa, where the race will be held. Alec shows Kurr a medallion he found near his barn the night of the fire, identical to that worn by the Uruk leader, and offers it in exchange for a ride to Sali. The journey is interrupted by a flat tire, and while Alec assists with the repair, Kurr tells the boy of his desire to do away with traditions of hospitality among the Saharan tribes, such as granting shelter or protection to any stranger who requests them. Once the tire is repaired, Kurr asks for the medallion and Alec surrenders it, but bars the boy from entering the truck, leaving him stranded in the desert. Sometime later, Alec is invited to board a caravan truck by a university student named Raj, who is fluent in English. Alec tells Raj of his search for the Black, but is advised that the horse belongs with the Berbers and that American boys are not suited to desert life. The next day, Raj leaves the truck to meet his bodyguard, Meslar, who is waiting with a pair of camels to escort him back to his tribe. Alec follows and asks for their protection, leaving them no choice but to take him along. The group arrives at Sali, where Alec anticipates a reunion with the Black, until an Uruk raid forces him to flee the oasis with his companions. The Uruks follow them into the desert in an attempt to abduct Alec and Raj, but they are foiled by Meslar, who intervenes while his charges escape to safety. Raj is despondent over the loss of Meslar, but Alec convinces him to continue their journey. They camp by a rock formation engraved with images of horses, where Raj reveals that he will be competing in the race, which is why the Uruks were trying to abduct him. Unable to replenish their water supply or feed their exhausted camel, the boys are forced to eat the animal. Days pass, and as they are about to lose all hope, a band of Raj’s tribesman come to their rescue. Later, Alec visits the nearby Berber village in hopes of reclaiming the Black, and finds his horse happily running with the herd, especially the white mare he has chosen for a mate. When a group of Berbers seize Alec and bring him to Abu Ben Ishak, the boy ensures his safety by asking to be the chieftain’s guest. Alec offers to ride the Black in the race, but Abu has awarded the privilege to Tabari, who secretly asks Alec’s help in controlling the animal. Their training session is interrupted when a band of Uruks take Alec and the Black to their fortress. The Black breaks free of his stone corral and escapes the fortress with Alec on his back. As they near the exit, Alec finds Meslar bound to a wall, and throws the bodyguard a pocketknife to free himself. After Alec returns the Black to the Berber village, Abu realizes that the boy and the horse belong together, and enters them in the race. On the day of the event, Raj offers to guide Alec through the course, even though they are competitors. Early in the race, Scarface, the Uruk rider, pushes Raj from his horse, but Alec stops to help his friend and both are soon back in the competition. Scarface is eliminated by Meslar, who scares the Uruk’s horse out from under its rider. As Alec and Raj take the lead, Kurr and Tiny Man try to stop them with gunfire. However, the dust created by the galloping horses impairs the Uruks’ vision, causing them to drive over an embankment and wreck their vehicle. Alec wins the race, and as Abu collects the spoils of his victory, he shows deference to Alec by allowing Raj to keep his horse. Meslar rides into the cheering crowd with Kurr and Tiny Man as his prisoners. Abu and Tabari return the Black to Alec, but the boy declines, realizing that the horse is among family. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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