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National Velvet is a 1944 film based on the novel by Enid Bagnold, published in 1935. It stars Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and a young Elizabeth Taylor.

In 2003 National Velvet was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congressmarker as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."


National Velvet is the story of a twelve-year girl, Velvet Brown, living in Sewels, in Sussex, England, who saves a horse from the knacker's yard and trains itfor the Grand National steeplechase, aided by her father's hired hand, a young drifter, Mi Taylor. The fictional horse which Velvet Brown trained and rode in the National is called "The Pie." When she discovers that the Latvianmarker jockey hired to ride the Pie doesn't believe he can win, she disguises herself as a male jockey and rides the horse to victory.


Production notes

An 18-year-old Gene Tierney, who was then appearing on Broadwaymarker, was offered the role of Velvet Brown in 1939. Production was delayed so Tierney, return to Broadway.Much of the film was shot in Pebble Beach, Californiamarker, with the most scenic views on Pebble Beach Golf Links, with some golf holes visible in the background.


  • Summertime - Elizabeth Taylor and MGM Studio and Orchestra Chorus Girls / Teacher

Academy Awards

National Velvet won two Oscars in 1945:

Wins: Nominations:

Other adaptations

  • National Velvet was dramatized as a one-hour radio play on the February 3, 1947 broadcast of Lux Radio Theater, with Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and Janice Scott.
  • In 1960, the film was adapted into television series which aired on NBC.
  • In 2003, a film version was made for television.


  1. Tierney and Herskowitz (1978) Wyden Books. "Self-Portrait". pg.23

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