American Black Beauty (2005)
Another Ranch Movie
It doesn't help to be afraid, bad things still come whether you are scared or not - Carey
Cheryl Birtwick (Danielle Keaton) was riding with her dad on the day he took a tumble and died leaving her not only an orphan but also a little skittish around horses. It is why the guardian of the Birtwick estate has Cheryl stay at a ranch run by friend of the family Tim Lane (Dean Stockwell), his daughter-in-law Marcie (Leah Lail) and grandson Carey (Chris Hunter). And her plans work as being at the Lane ranch and around their horses including one called Black Beauty helps Cheryl regain her confidence. But the Lane's have a battle on their hands as Mayor Bart Williams (Peter Jason) is snatching up land all over the valley be it by means fair or foul and he is desperate to get the Lane land.
So let me give you the positive first; "American Black Beauty", which is broadcast as "Black Beauty: The Legend Continues", here in the UK is some wholesome family entertainment. There is no real violence or sex but plenty of sweet drama full of positivity. As such through Carey being a nice guy and of course Black Beauty Cheryl regains her confidence and learns there is no point in being scared. Basically it is innocent as it comes and we have some simple drama about the good guys taking on the bad guys like in the old westerns where the corrupt mayor would try to take over land by any means necessary.
But that leads me to the negative and "American Black Beauty" is as cliche as they come with every single aspect of it having been done before. So we have the orphan girl who has developed a fear of horses heading to a ranch and getting her confidences back. We have the whole corrupt mayor storyline trying to boot the Lane's of their ranch with a deadline to pay up what they owe to the bank on the ranch. Then there is not only some teenage romance but also high school sweethearts who have a chance to rekindle their love for each other or if not at least look out for each other. As such for movie fans "American Black Beauty" is a test of endurance due to the number of cliches.
What this all boils down to is that "American Black Beauty" is a nice movie for those seeking wholesome family entertainment and don't mind the fact it is built around simple movie cliches. But anyone in the least bit cynical is going to find this hard work and incredibly cheesy in its niceness.
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