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National Velvet (1944)

The 1944 film National Velvet is widely considered Elizabeth Taylor’s breakout film. The story of a 12-year-old girl who rides a horse named “Pie” to victory, it was a big hit, earning $4 million in the U.S. alone, or more than $50 million today.

Although her salary for the film was $100 a week, Taylor, who had also starred in Lassie Come Home, recognized the important role that the film had played in career, and she was later quoted as saying, “Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”

Photo: MGM Studios