Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
The life of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, following from 1880 onward his struggle to free his country from English rule, pursued in prison, Parliament, and elsewhere. Emphasis ... See full summary »
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
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 »
When Southern Queen falls in the mud, a trip wire is clearly visible on the horse's hind leg. See more »
My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night
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 »
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.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?