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The Black Stallion

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Francis Ford Coppola’s successes in the 70s put him in a place where he was able to help a good number of people get projects off the ground. One of those people was his friend from college, Carroll Ballard. Nearly broke, Coppola’s call came just in time and Ballard found himself on board to direct The Black Stallion. Another person was Melissa Mathison, a friend who started working as an assistant on The Godfather, Part II. Coppola suggested to her that she start writing and asked her to help with the script for The Black Stallion. Next thing you know, she and Ballard are working on it together. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Melissa Mathison series with 1979’s The Black Stallion

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"We’re gonna show everybody that he’s the fastest horse in the world."

Francis Ford Coppola’s successes in the 70s put him in a place where he was able to help a good number of people get projects off the ground. One of those people was his friend from college, Carroll Ballard. Nearly broke, Coppola’s call came just in time and Ballard found himself on board to direct The Black Stallion. Another person was Melissa Mathison, a friend who started working as an assistant on The Godfather, Part II. Coppola suggested to her that she start writing and asked her to help with the script for The Black Stallion. Next thing you know, she and Ballard are working on it together. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Melissa Mathison series with 1979’s The Black Stallion

We talk about why this film is called an art film for kids and why all of these elements work so well for us. We chat about Mathison, how she got her start here and how she really became a go-to writer for stories with child protagonists who connected to something unique or magical in the world. We discuss the cast, headlined by Kelly Reno as Alec the boy, and Cass-Olé the beautiful Arabian horse. We touch on the cinematography, the sound, the editing and the music, enjoying what everyone’s bringing to the table. And we touch on the locations around the world where the film was shot. 

It’s a gorgeous film that isn’t just something made for kids – it’s really for everyone. We have a great conversation about it. Tune in!

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