Blu-ray Review: The Black Stallion Returns - Twilight Time Limited Edition

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Part of Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series (3,000 units issued), The Black Stallion Returns holds appeal primarily for horse lovers and nostalgia buffs. Released in 1983, the film is a sturdily-crafted yet dull sequel to the beloved 1979 classic. The Black Stallion was a major hit and a critical favorite that scored recognition during awards season (including two Oscar nominations). Returns scored with neither critics nor audiences particularly. However, with the original available as a beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-ray, it makes sense that fans of these adaptations of Walter Farley's novels will want a high definition version of the sequel.

Alec (Kelly Reno), now a teen, lives with his mother mother (Teri Garr, phoning in a cameo) and the Black (the horse Cass Ole, returning as well from the first film). The stallion's original owners seek to reclaim the Black, restore his original name Shetan, and provide for him in Morocco. Inevitably a struggle ensues between Alec, who manages to sneak into Morocco, and original owner Ishak (Ferdy Mayne). Much like the original film, this all leads to a big race but the events that get us there feel a bit mechanical. If nothing else, the internationally-shot scenery looks beautiful and Cass Ole is a pleasure to watch in full stride.

Technical presentation is solid, with only a few, occasional speckles of light print debris causing concern in an otherwise solid 1080p transfer of Carlo Di Palma's cinematography. Audio is offered up as a choice between lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 or DTS-HD MA 2.0.

The isolated score track by Georges Delerue is the only special feature (well, there's also the film's theatrical trailer). A standard feature of Twilight Time reissues, the booklet includes a new essay by film historian Julie Kirgo. Head to the Twilight Time official site or distributor Screen Archives for information about ordering The Black Stallion Returns while supplies last.


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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