Gambler Rid Riddell wins a racehorse, Tommy Boy, on a bet. Rid consistently wins with the horse in both honestly and dishonestly run races. But before long, Tommy Boy wins a race he wasn't supposed to, and the mob is after Rid. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sporting Blood (1931) was inspired by a true-life story wherein Arnold Rothstein, the gambler racketeer infamous for the 1919 Black Sox Scandal (see Eight Men Out (1988)), entered his horse Sporting Blood in the 1921 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Sporting Blood was initially the second favorite at 5-2 behind the filly Prudery, the 1-4 favorite. Then legendary trainer Sam Hildreth entered his best runner Grey Lag, who became the immediate favorite with Prudery the second favorite and Sporting Blood the third favorite at 3-1. Thirty minutes before the race Hildreth scratched Grey Lag with no explanation. The favorite money then switched to Prudery while Sporting Blood remained at 3-1. Sure enough, Sporting Blood won and Rothstein collected $500,000 in both prize money and, mostly, from the $150,000 he'd bet here and there. It seems that Rothstein had heard just before the race that Prudery was having "female problems." Both Rothstein and Hildreth were accused of colluding but nothing could be proved. In any event, Rothstein soon sold his horses and never owned another horse again. He was later shot dead in 1928 over a crooked poker game in which he'd lost $320,000 but refused to pay. See more »
Before the shot of the dead Southern Queen fades out, her right ear can be seen flicking once. See more »
The first part of this movie, about the birth and rearing of "Tommy Boy", is pretty good, if a tad sentimental. Ernest Torrence does his usual excellent job. In the second half, Tommy Boy leaves the farm and falls in with bad companions, and the whole thing degenerates into into bad soap opera. The camerawork is erratic: the shots in the field were apparently shot MOS and look pretty good, but the second half becomes stage bound.
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