International Velvet This sequel to the Dame Elizabeth Taylor movie National Velvet (1944) focuses on Sarah Brown (Tatum O’Neal), a young, recently orphaned American girl sent to England to live with her aunt, a now grown Velvet Brown (Nanette Newman). The troubled Sarah is only interested in one thing; horses, and has clearly inherited her aunt’s talent. She and her horse Arizona Pie (son of Velvet’s Grand National winning steed The Pie) work their way up through the world of eventing, finally being selected for the British Olympic Squad, growing up and finding love along the way.
International Velvet I enjoy this movie for apparently all the wrong reasons: 1. I couldn’t bear Elizabeth Taylor who over-acted in every movie she ever made. Nannette Newman is a much better actress, as well as being (in my opinion) better looking, like-wise Tatum O’Neil.
2. I always put on my video of it whenever the grand-kids come to visit. They love it and it keeps them quiet for a couple of hours, except in the middle where one of them, a horse-lover, can’t watch the distressing scenes in the aircraft.
3. I hate watching show jumping. These sequences are far too long in the movie, but then I can fast-forward the tape when they appear.
4. Anglo-US relations can be fractious at times. Nice to see a movie where they’re not. But it was pleasant to see the Brits “win” against the Yanks, even if it took a Yank to do it.
5. Except for (3) above, I actually think this is a better movie than the original “National Velvet” (a film I thought was highly overrated and was somewhat implausible, and in which Elizabeth Taylor, although still young at the time, was her usual hammy self).
Stick “International Velvet” in your library. If you’ve horse lovers in the family, it can, like “Black Beauty”, come in handy at times.