Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that National Velvet, an appealing family film released in 1944 and set in 1920s England, presents two strong female role models, both of whom succeed in fields of sport that had not been previously open to their gender: long-distance swimming and British horse-jumping. It's a movie with strong messages about dreams, risk, determination, and honesty. The only mildly frightening moments come when the preteen heroine faints, when she falls from her horse, and when the horse is ill for a time. In one lengthy sequence set during the Grand National race, a number of horses and their riders fall (in wide shots), but almost all quickly get up; no injuries are seen or referenced. A young man confesses his responsibility for a riding accident years earlier in which someone was killed. The same young man is seen drinking beer with two cronies, and he gets very drunk.
Some horses and their riders fall. None is shown to be injured or in real trouble. The young heroine is prone to fainting. She falls from and is thrown from her horse, but never hurt. She's also frightened when the horse is ill.
Filled with simple positive messages, expressed in words and demonstrated by actions, including: dream big; take risks and enjoy the moment, but know when it's over and move on; "everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly at least once in life." The importance of trust and honesty is stressed.
Drugs / Tobacco /
The young man at the center of the story drinks beer in a pub. He gets very drunk, slurs his words, and staggers. Several men smoke pipes.