Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Black Beauty (1978)

play
Email a link to this page
To:
CC:
Subject:
Body:
clip ‘Men are your enemies!’

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Young Black Beauty’s contentment is challenged by his angry stablemate, Ginger, who is very mistrustful of humans. This good life will not last for ever, she explains. A horse’s fortune is always dependent on the master, who can sell a horse at any time. She tells of some of her experiences, including the terrors of the dreaded ‘bearing rein’. Black Beauty is dismayed by her pessimistic attitude.

Curator’s notes

Ginger voices many of the concerns about the predominantly uncaring attitude of many people towards horses at this time. Here she explains her justifiable bitterness and also highlights the fragility of a horse’s existence, dependent as it is on the needs and whims of its master.

Horses were central to everyday life and their maltreatment in public was a common occurrence. With the huge success of this story, author Anna Sewell achieved her desire to draw attention to the unregulated plight of horses, to encourage the development of legislation prohibiting cruelty to animals, and to see improved social and business practices in using horses. As seen in this clip, Sewell particularly focuses on the fashion at the time for ‘check’ or ‘bearing’ reins which cruelly forced a carriage horse’s head up and backwards at an unnatural angle. Here, as in all instances where this cruel practice is implemented in Sewell’s story, it is on the orders of fashionable women who demand their horse’s heads be held high and proud.

When published, the novel was unique in telling the story of an animal in the first person, a powerful technique which, for the first time, brought readers much closer to understanding and empathising with an animal’s feelings. In an interesting technical approach in this animation, only the human characters have mouth movement synched with their dialogue; and in contrast, all horses’ dialogue is delivered with no mouth movement – as ‘thoughts’. While it seems odd to begin with as we are now so accustomed to the phenomena of animals talking in animated films, it also helps this film remain true to the original story.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer ‘Men are your enemies!’ from the television program Black Beauty as a high quality video download.

To play the downloadable video, you need QuickTime 7.0, VLC, or similar.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

This clip is available in the following configurations:

File nameSizeQualitySuitability
blackbeu1_pr.mp4 Large: 11.9MB High Optimised for full-screen display on a fast computer.
blackbeu1_bb.mp4 Medium: 5.6MB Medium Can be displayed full screen. Also suitable for video iPods.

Right-click on the links above to download video files to your computer.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Copy and paste the following code into your own web page to embed this clip: