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Pride of the Blue Grass (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 7 October 1939 (USA)
Based on the story of the steeplechase-winning blind jumping horse, Elmer Gantry aka Gantry the Great, owned by Eleanor Getzendaner. The horse plays himself.


(as William McGann)


(original screen play), (story "Gantry the Great")


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Complete credited cast:
Edith Fellows ...
Midge Griner
James McCallion ...
Danny Lowman
Granville Bates ...
Col. Bob Griner
Arthur Loft ...
Dave Miller
Joe (as DeWolf Hopper)
Willie Hobson
Frederic Tozere ...
First Stranger (as Fred Tozere)
Edgar Edwards ...
Second Stranger
John Butler ...
Mack Lowman
Sam McDaniel ...
Domino Jones (as Sam McDaniels)
Bernice Pilot ...
Walter Fenner ...
Secretary to Board of Stewards
Raymond Brown ...
Sheriff Adams
Lord Shropshire


The night that Mack Lowman's mare foals, the barn is struck by lightning, killing Mack, but Danny, his seventeen-year-old son escapes with the colt, Gantry the Great. Midge Griner gets Danny a job on the horse farm owned by her father, Colonel Bob Griner. Danny trains and rides Gantry to fame, but the horse goes blind in the Kentucky Derby, as the favorite, and pulls up and loses. Through a misunderstanding Danny is banned for a year. To recoup his and Gantry's honor, he enters the blind horse in the Aintree Grand National Steeplechase in England. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Steeplechase  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night
Music by Stephen Foster
Played at the track before the Kentucky Derby
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User Reviews

James McCallion has Horse Sense
8 May 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In the blue grass country of Kentucky, dimpled teenager James McCallion (as Danny Lowman) is overjoyed upon the arrival, during a thunderstorm, of young "Gantry the Great". Later, lightning strikes his thoroughbred horse stables, leading to the deaths of both Mr. McCallion's father and the young colt's mother. Since the deceased John Butler (as Mack Lowman) was accused of fixing races, creditors seize son McCallion's assets. The now penniless lad leaves "Gantry" in the care of plucky platonic girlfriend Edith Fellows (as Midge Griner), then leaves to become a jockey. "Gantry" grows up on Ms. Fellows farm, under the care of her horse ranch owner father Granville Bates (as Bob Griner)...

Elsewhere, McCallion has run afoul of the law. Actually innocent, he returns to work for Ms. Fellows' father, upon her insistence. Meanwhile, "Gantry" has proved difficult to train. Inevitably, the troubled McCallion and the frisky thoroughbred work magic at the race track, then tragedy strikes… This will be no surprise to anyone watching the film's opening, but it doesn't really extinguish interest. The story has you believing in "Gantry" jumping to victory. In his starring role, McCallion is very appealing. You may even forgive "Danny" for using likable "Domino" Sam McDaniels as a guinea pig. This unassuming film is nicely photographed by Ted McCord and tightly edited by Frank DeWar with director William McGann.

****** Pride of the Blue Grass (10/7/39) William McGann ~ James McCallion, Edith Fellows, Sam McDaniels, Granville Bates

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