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Harold D. Schuster
Mi Taylor was a young wanderer and opportunist whose father had given him "all the roads in the Kingdom" to travel. One of the roads, and a notation in his father's journal, leads him to the quiet English country-side home of the Brown family. The youngest daughter, Velvet, has a passion for horses and when she wins the spirited steed Pie in a town lottery, Mi is encouraged to train the horse for the Grand National - England's greatest racing event. Written by
The story takes place in the late-1920s, and the Browns pay the entry fee with "100 gold sovereigns" which ceased to be used as money in England in 1918. However, this is consistent with a detail from the novel, in which Mrs Brown insists the entry fee be paid with the sovereigns she won swimming the English Channel, which occurred prior to 1918. See more »
A frame, with music, was added to the film at the end: "To families of servicemen and women: Pictures exhibited in this theater are given to the armed forces for showing in combat areas around the world. [signed] War Activities Committee/Motion Picture Industry" See more »
A sentimental, heart-tugging family film set in England of the 1920s. A young Elizabeth Taylor wins a horse in a raffle and decides to enter him in the Grand National; fortunately, ex-jockey Mickey Rooney is around to give Liz some help. Director Clarence Brown displays some remarkable control with material that could've been excessively maudlin in someone else's hands. He and screenwriters Helen Deutsch and Theodore Reeves take great care in establishing genuine characterizations and developing the story naturally. True, there are one or two scenes that seem a bit forced, but overall it's quite affecting, and gorgeously filmed in Technicolor. The race itself is quite thrilling, and like so many great classics, there's a marvelous, three-hankie fade-out at the end. Liz proves that she was a real trooper right from the start, and Rooney--who I usually find rather annoying--is surprisingly subdued and really very good. Donald Crisp is terrif as Liz's gruff father and Angela Lansbury is a delight as her older, boy-crazy sister. Most of the acting kudos, however, belong to Anne Revere, who won a richly deserved Supporting Actress Oscar playing Liz's wise and caring mother.
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