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Courage of Black Beauty (1957)

Courage of Black Beauty (1957)
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Boy is given a young colt to raise as his own.

Sam Adams, a widower who owns a horse ranch and also works as a talent agent, eagerly awaits two events: the arrival of his ten-year-old son Bobby and the birth of a new colt. Sam plans to surprise Bobby, who is returning to the ranch after living with his grandmother, with the colt for his birthday, but the colt's mother is slow in giving birth. Consequently, when Bobby arrives, Sam is curt and impatient with him, and Bobby retreats to his room to sulk. Bobby starts to play with the toy airplane his grandmother gave him, and the noise spooks the horses. Sam yells at the boy and accidentally smashes the toy. Soon after, the mare gives birth and Sam proudly presents her foal to Bobby as a birthday gift. Angry at his father, Bobby sullenly rejects the gift and runs out of the barn. Afterward, Ann Rowden, a neighboring rancher, and her young daughter Lily come to visit, and Bobby tells Lily that he plans to run away. Suitcase in hand, Bobby stops at the barn to say goodbye to Mike Creen, the Adamses' kindly groom, and is won over by the little horse, whom Bobby names Black Beauty. As Beauty grows, he forms a bond with Bobby, but Ben Farraday, the Rowden's foreman, warns that the horse might have inherited a wild streak from his sire. Beauty matures into a spirited adult, and one day, Sam tells Bobby it is time to acquaint him with a bridle and bit. After Bobby successfully bridles the skittish horse, Lily cheers, spooking Beauty, who then accidentally knocks down Bobby. The accident causes Sam to worry that Ben's prophecy may have come true. One day while riding with Bobby, Lily challenges him to a race. In his haste, Bobby rides into a tree branch and is knocked off Beauty, but Beauty returns to his side and nuzzles him with concern. When Sam consults Ben about sending Beauty away to be trained, Ben, impressed that Beauty stood by the injured Bobby, changes his opinion and advises Sam to keep the horse. One day, Sam, concerned that Bobby is becoming too headstrong and spoiled, visits Ann to complain about his son's behavior, and Ann responds that Sam is being overly critical of Bobby. Soon after, actress Janet Corday, one of Sam's demanding clients, comes to the ranch and insists on riding Beauty in Bobby's absence. Bobby, who is visiting at the Rowden ranch, becomes upset when he learns a stranger is riding his horse. Sympathetic to Bobby's plight, Ann offers Bobby a steed, and she, Lily and Bobby mount up and gallop off to catch up with Janet and Sam. Janet is unable to handle Beauty, and consequently, the horse bolts and crashes into a fence. Seriously injured in the accident, Beauty suffers a punctured lung. Bobby stays by the ailing Beauty's side, and when the vet advises that the horse be put out of its misery, Sam decides to destroy the animal that night. After instructing Mike to ask Ben to do the deed, Sam tells Bobby to join him at the Rowden ranch. There, Bobby insists that Beauty will get well. Finally comprehending that the horse is to be destroyed, Bobby runs back to the stables, but Sam restrains him and sends him to his room. As Ben readies his rifle, he notices signs of improvement in the horse and sends for a specialist, who then declares that the lung is not punctured. When Bobby awakens the next morning, Sam tells him that Beauty has recovered. Bobby then races to the corral, and Beauty runs to greet him.
Courage of Black Beauty, 1957, Harold D. Schuster, Johnny Crawford, Mimi Gibson, John Bryant, Diane Brewster, J. Pat O'Malley, Russell Johnson, Ziva Rodann, animal film, horse, black horse
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