Black Beauty (1921 film)

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Black Beauty
Black Beauty film poster 1921
Film poster
Directed by David Smith
Produced by Albert E. Smith
Screenplay by
Based on the novel 
by Anna Sewell
Cinematography Reginald Lyons
Distributed by Vitagraph Company of America
Release dates
  • January 1921 (1921-01) (USA)
Running time
70 minutes; 7 reels
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Still with Paige and Morrison from Photoplay magazine

Black Beauty is a 1921 American silent film version of Anna Sewell's novel of the same name. Black Beauty is an autobiography of a horse, who tells the story of his life and of the people surrounding him.[1] This film exists in an incomplete state with four of seven reels preserved at the Library of Congress.[2][3]


As summarized in a film publication,[4] a human love story was added to the horse story, which includes a fox hunt and race. At a house party given by Squire Gordon (Steppling), his daughter Jessie (Paige) and Harry Blomefield (Morrison) are playing games with the children, although they have reached the age where Harry realizes that he loves her. Among the guests is Jack Beckett (Webb), who lives by his wits and has gained entree as a favorite of the haughty Lady Wynsaring (Farrington). Squire Gordon gives Lord Wynwaring (Peacocke) 800 pounds for his wife's charity, which Jack steals from the Wynwaring room. During a fox hunt the next morning, Jessie's brother George (Kenny) is killed in a fall from his horse. Jack puts the stolen money in the pocket of the dead man and tells Jessie that her brother was a thief. To prevent him from telling her mother, Jessie agrees to marry Jack when she comes of age. Jessie meanwhile realizes that she loves Harry, who cannot understand her wish to marry Jack. Several years pass and Harry tries to elope with Jessie, but is foiled. After a race sequence, Black Beauty carries Harry to victory and to Jessie, foiling the plans of the villain Jack.



For its 1929 re-release, the film was cut to 35 minutes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Black Beauty at
  2. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress page 17 published by The American Film Institute, c.1978
  3. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Black Beauty
  4. ^ ""Black Beauty" Characterized by Thrills and Extravagant Production". Film Daily (New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc.) 15 (7): 3. Jan 9, 1921. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 

External links[edit]