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The Dark Horse (1932)

 -  Comedy  -  16 June 1932 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 504 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

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)

The Dark Horse (1932) on IMDb 7.5/10

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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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Release Date:

16 June 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Horse  »

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Technical Specs

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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

 
An amusing take-off of the American political process, 1930's style, but it falters halfway through.
6 January 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

I had lots of chuckles for the first half of this spoof of the American political scene in the 1930's, when a deadlocked Progressive Party convention finally nominates delegate Zachary Hicks (Guy Kibbee) for governor because one of the party leaders liked his name, and then spread the word he'd be a good compromise candidate. What they didn't bargain for was that Kibbee was as dumb as could be. Party secretary, Bette Davis (young and beautiful in this early role), suggests getting the dynamo campaign manager, Warren William, to handle the campaign. The funniest scene occurs at the debate, when Kibbee's opponent (Berton Churchill) starts to give the same speech (written by Abraham Lincoln) that William had Kibbee memorize. William jumps up and accuses Churchill of plagiarism.

Kibbee is perfect as the dumb candidate, with his wide cherubic grin and innocent, halting way of speaking. William is also excellent as the fast talking, fast thinking manager, a part he played many times in previous and later films. Unfortunately, when William's ex-wife, Vivienne Osborne, shows up demanding past alimony payments and causing Davis to become jealous, the focus of the film changes a bit, much to its detriment. Still, the opposition Conservative Party has some tricks up their sleeve trying to win the election, which keeps the film interesting.


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