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The Dark Horse (1932)

 -  Comedy  -  16 June 1932 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 525 users  
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Zachary Hicks is nominated at the Progressive party's convention even though he has little chance of winning the governorship. Kay suggests the party bosses hire Hal Blake (whom she loves) ... See full summary »

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Title: The Dark Horse (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ...
Hal Samson Blake
...
Kay Russell
Guy Kibbee ...
Zachary Hicks
Vivienne Osborne ...
Maybelle Blake, Hal's ex-wife
Frank McHugh ...
Joe
Sam Hardy ...
Mr. Black
Harry Holman ...
Mr. Jones
Charles Sellon ...
Mr. Green
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Sheriff (as Robert E. O'Connor)
Berton Churchill ...
William A. Underwood
Robert Warwick ...
Mr. Clark
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Storyline

Zachary Hicks is nominated at the Progressive party's convention even though he has little chance of winning the governorship. Kay suggests the party bosses hire Hal Blake (whom she loves) as campaign manager. Hal is in jail for falling behind in his alimony payments to Maybelle, but Kay convinces the politicians to seem him in prison, Impressed with the speech they hear him deliver to a cellmate, the committee pays Hal's fine and back alimony payments. Hal takes on the campaign and several marital arrangements. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

16 June 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Surpresas Convencionais  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hal Samson Blake: He's the dumbest human being I ever saw. Every time he opens his mouth he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.
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Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Sung in Prison and at the debate with new election lyrics
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User Reviews

 
Maybe yes, but then again, maybe no
8 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Guy Kibbee is Zachary Hicks, "The Dark Horse" for a governor's race in this 1932 film starring Warren William, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh and Vivian Osbourne. In order to break the convention deadlock, the Progressive party nominates a sure loser, Zachary Hicks, for governor. Secretary Davis, a plant in the political bosses' offices, urges them to hire her boyfriend, Hal Samson Blake (William) as Hicks' campaign manager. At the moment, he's in jail for back alimony, but the bosses are stirred by a speech Hal gives the prisoners. A subplot, which enters the main plot eventually, is in fact this very alimony, which Hal's ex (Osbourne) is determined to collect from him. Her anger with him causes her to interfere with the governor's race.

This is a very amusing movie and of course, we've seen bumbling politicians throughout film history - "Thanks a Million," "The Great Man Votes," "The Senator was Indiscreet" (my favorite) etc. ad infinitum. The reason they're always funny is that nothing has changed, so these films always strike a chord. This movie has special interest because of the presence of a very young, very pretty Bette Davis and also because it's pre-Code. There's a lot of rather obvious suggestiveness in it that I suppose would have caused objection.

I have to confess an undying love for Warren William, who is, as always, relaxed, funny and marvelous as a wheeler dealer who can get anybody elected to anything. He was sort of a poor man's Barrymore in these roles. I would have loved to have seen Barrymore do this part as well. Davis in an early ingénue role is good, but it's before anyone knew what to do with her. A million actresses could have played her part, but how many actresses could have done what she did in Of Human Bondage? Guy Kibbee is a perfect idiot nominee with bad feet and an eye for the ladies, and Frank McHugh is on hand to give his usual excellent support.

Lighthearted fun and recommended as a reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same.


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