Black Beauty

Last Update: 09 November 2000
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"The story of my life is the story of the people in it," reminisces an elderly stallion from his pastoral retirement. It's the first of many axioms - "Kind treatment makes fine horses", "Good people make good homes" - with which, over the years, he has fended off human unkindness.

A succession of owners is played by a dream-team of British actors: Sean Bean, Peter Davison, Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron and David Thewlis.

Sean appears as Farmer Grey in the first fifteen minutes of the film.

Director Caroline Thompson evokes a mid-Victorian era in which the period detail is wonderfully unerring. She avoids the niceties of other, somewhat romantic treatments of Black Beauty, and lives up to Anna Sewell's message that, however happy an ending, for horses there is pain and heartache between birth and death.

Black Beauty was filmed between August and October 1993 in Buckinghamshire and at Pinewood Studios in London.

Look for Sharpe's Lyndon Davies as a Groom, and, as the voice of Black Beauty, Alan Cumming - GoldenEye's "invincible" computer wiz, Boris.

Location Notes:

The bustle of 19th century steet life was recreated in the courtyard of Blenheim Palace, near Oxford.

The house of the kindly Squire was Hall Barn, a 17th century house in Buckinghamshire.

The home of Lord and Lady Wexmire was Ditchley, an 18th century house not far from Blenheim Palace.

The grand room where Black Beauty had to pose for Lady Wexmire was shot at Stratfield Saye house in Hampshire.

Additional scenes were filmed in Black Park, part of the Langley Park estate of the Duke of Marlborough.

(From On location - The Film Fan's Guide to Britain & Ireland by Brian Pendreigh)

The actor originally cast to provide the voice of Black Beauty was Daragh O'Malley, Harper in the Sharpe series, starring Sean Bean.

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Alan Cumming
Sean Bean
David Thewlis
Jim Carter
Peter Davison
Alan Armstrong
John McEnery
Eleanor Bron
Peter Cook
Adrian Ross Magenty
Lyndon Davies
Georgina Armstrong
Gemma Paternoster
Anthony Walters
Rosalind Ayres
Andrew Knott


Voice of Black Beauty
Farmer Grey
Jerry Barker
John Manly
Squire Gordon
Reuben Smith
Mr. York
Lady Wexmire
Lord Wexmire
Lord George
Head Groom
Jessica Gordon
Molly Gordon
Alfred Gordon
Mistress Gordon
Joe Green



Produced by

Directed by
From the novel by
Production Design
Costume Design
Film Editor
Music by
Running time
Release dates


Peter MacGregor-Scott
Robert Shapiro

Caroline Thompson
Caroline Thompson
Anna Sewell
Alex Thomson
John Box
Jenny Bevan
Claire Simpson
Danny Elfman
88 minutes
29 July 1994 (US)
17 February 1995 (UK)


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