Carroll Ballard

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Carroll Ballard
Born (1937-10-14) October 14, 1937 (age 78)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Film director
Years active 1965–2005

Carroll Ballard (born October 14, 1937) is an American film director. He has directed six feature films, including The Black Stallion (1979) and Fly Away Home (1996).


Carroll Ballard attended film school at UCLA, where one of his classmates was Francis Ford Coppola.[1]

His early credits include the documentaries Beyond This Winter's Wheat (1965) and Harvest (1967), which he made for the U.S. Information Agency. The latter was nominated for an Academy Award. He also directed a short subject called The Perils of Priscilla (1969), which was filmed from the point of view of a cat.[2] Rodeo (1970) provided an intimate look at the 1968 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. He was second unit director on Star Wars (1977), for which he handled many of the outdoor desert scenes.

Ballard finally got the chance to make a feature film when Coppola offered him the job of directing The Black Stallion (1979), an adaptation of the children's book by Walter Farley.[3] The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor (Mickey Rooney). In 2002 the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry.

His second film was Never Cry Wolf (1983), based on Farley Mowat's autobiographical book of the same name, which detailed Mowat's experiences with Arctic wolves.[4]

In the 1990s, he directed two films: Wind (1992) and Fly Away Home (1996).

His most recent film is Duma (2005), about a young South African boy's friendship with an orphaned cheetah.[5]

Most of Ballard's films deal with man and his relation to nature and have a strong poetic streak. Film critic Kenneth Turan once wrote:

"[Ballard] knows how to be both caring and restrained, minimizing a movie's saccharine content while maximizing the sense of wonder."[6]



  1. ^ Phipps, Keith (July 31, 2015). "When Kids Movies Were Dark and Beautiful". The Daily Beast. 
  2. ^ McCarthy, Todd (October 24, 2011). "New York Film Festival Wrap: Special Events, Fortuitous Encounters and Spontaneous Combustion". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ Schumacher, Michael (1999). Francis Ford Coppola: a filmmaker's life. Three Rivers Press, ISBN 0-609-80677-7, p. 237-238.
  4. ^ Holloway, Ronald (August 31, 1983). "Variety Reviews - Never Cry Wolf". Variety. 
  5. ^ Dargis, Manohla (September 30, 2005). "Inching Toward Adulthood With a Cheetah for a Friend". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Turan, Kenneth (2004). Never coming to a theater near you: a celebration of a certain kind of movie. New York: Public Affairs. ISBN 1-58648-231-9.

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