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The Dark Horse (1932)

Approved | | Comedy | 16 June 1932 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Kay Russell
...
Zachary Hicks
Vivienne Osborne ...
Maybelle Blake, Hal's ex-wife
...
Joe
...
Mr. Black
Harry Holman ...
Mr. Jones
...
Mr. Green
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Sheriff (as Robert E. O'Connor)
...
William A. Underwood
...
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

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 June 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarny rumak  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(uncredited)
Music by Theo. A. Metz
Played at the convention
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User Reviews

 
A not-to-be-missed pre-code gem!
6 December 2011 | by (Catonsville, Md.; USA) – See all my reviews

I've read that the Warner's release, High Pressure, with William Powell, as the fast-talking pitchman Gar Evans, was a hit when it was released in January, 1932. Daryl Zanuck (writing as Mark Canfield) wrote a sequel. When Warner's couldn't get the writer of the original novel to agree to a price that they wanted to pay they transformed conman Gar Evans into the rapid-fire king-maker "Hal Blake." Instead of goods he was selling candidates. They bumped Powell (fearing a lawsuit if they used the same actor for similar characters) in favor of Warren William and the movie became The Dark Horse.

What a crackerjack little film! It had a large cast of assembly-line actors and crew who knew how to crank out a film hot enough to ignite the nitrate stock it was printed on. This film went through pre- production, production and post-production in time for its release in June, 1932. That's just five months after the film that inspired it! Its rushed release didn't show in its spot-on rapid fire dialog or delivery.

Other reviewers have whined about a later subplot involving Hal Blake's ex. By that time I was so completely won over the charms of this pre- code gem that I completely accepted, and enjoyed, the late curveball.

How could you not love a movie with a song like:

Upstate, downstate Cities and the sticks, The voters yell for change Even babies cry for Hicks! Boys and girls together Toms and Harrys and Dicks, Climb the big bandwagon, While they cast their vote for Hicks!


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