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Sporting Blood (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, Sport  |  8 August 1931 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 234 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

The saga of thoroughbred Tommy Boy, born in a rain puddle, and his various owners as he evolves into a a champion stakes horse.

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sporting Blood (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ernest Torrence ...
Mr. Jim Rellence
...
Miss 'Missy' Ruby
Lew Cody ...
Tip Scanlon
...
Angela 'Angie' Ludeking
Hallam Cooley ...
Bill Ludeking
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
MacGuire (as J. Farrell McDonald)
John Larkin ...
Uncle Ben
Eugene Jackson ...
Sam 'Sammy'
Tommy Boy ...
Himself, a Horse
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Curtis ...
Himself, Vice-President of the United States, at Kentucky Derby (archive footage)
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Storyline

Valued thoroughbred mare Southern Queen slips and falls in a mud puddle, breaking her leg. Before she is destroyed, she gives birth to Tommy Boy, who becomes the favorite of his owner, horse breeder Jim Rellence. Ultimately a reluctant Rellence is forced to sell the one-year old to a prominent sportsman, and Tommy enters the world of high stakes racing. He goes through a variety of owners, all of whom have their own selfish agenda for the horse. Ultimately he ends up with Ruby, the mistress of a murdered racketeer, who wants Tommy to fulfill his true potential as a stakes horse and enters him in the Kentucky Derby. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vollblut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Southern Queen falls in the mud, a trip wire is clearly visible on the horse's hind leg. See more »

Quotes

Warren 'Rid' Riddell: [Seeing Ruby taking a drink out of a flask in the back of Scanlon's limo] Aw, don't do that, Ruby!
Miss 'Missy' Ruby: Why not?
Warren 'Rid' Riddell: I hate to see anyone hit the hootch the way you do.
Miss 'Missy' Ruby: You don't know how bad I need this drink.
Warren 'Rid' Riddell: It's not good medicine.
Miss 'Missy' Ruby: It is for what ails me.
Warren 'Rid' Riddell: What's that?
Miss 'Missy' Ruby: You.
See more »

Crazy Credits

...to Man-O'-War, Zev, Crusader, Fair Play, Gallant Fox, Twenty-Grand and all the heroes of the turf and track, this record is reverently dedicated. See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night
(1853)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score for the opening scene at Jim's horse farm
Reprised in the score when Tommy Boy leaves the farm
Reprised in the score when Tommy Boy returns to the farm
Reprised in the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sporting Blood finishes in the money
9 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gable's gangster laden character career before "It Happened..." continues in this saga about a race horse looking for respect from a succession of owners mishandling its career. Clark may have the lead in the film but a fine supporting cast including the horse Tommy Boy run neck and neck throughout.

Horse breeder Jim Rellence (Ernest Torrence) is forced to shoot his prize mare Southern Queen but not before she gives birth to Tommy Boy who develops the right stuff in no time. Reluctantly he sells the horse whose new owner succumbs to dollar signs and the whims of a dilettante. Lacking horse sense and ignoring trainers advice Tommy Boy is run into the ground before being rescued by a moll (Madge Evans)left to her by a recently whacked boyfriend gambler who over estimates Tommy's abilities. She returns to Rellence's farm to get Tommy as well as herself back in shape.

Sporting Blood moves at a decent pace as it moves from owner to owner, first with the touching and warm affection of a restrained Torrance at the farm followed by a series of inept meretricious owners to Evan's Ruby who finds her own redemption in bringing Tommy Boy to the Derby. Marie Provost and Hallam Cooley provide comic relief while black actors Gene Jackson and John Larkin lend dignity instead of wide eyed Tomming to their roles in playing key contributions to the plot. Gable is self assured and imposing but Evans handles him well throughout while Tommy Boy's big heart adds to the crowded field in a suspenseful well edited finale that has Sporting Blood finishing in the money.


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