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David Palmer, a young chemist, returns to his father's Indiana farm, to marry a local school teacher, Ruth Treadwell. David meets again his father's horse-trainer, Ben Lathrop, whose daughter, Cissy, has left high school to help her father. Palmer marries and becomes wealthy through an invention, and is able to indulge his socially-ambitious wife. His father dies and Palmer returns to Indiana, where his interest in harness-racing is rekindled, as is his interest in Cissy Lathrop. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Don your pajamas and watch Dan, a heartwarming story based on fact
David Palmer (Dennis O'Keefe) has graduated from college as a chemist but returns to his father's horse farm in Indiana to sort things out. He has been engaged to a beautiful schoolteacher (Ruth Warrick) and they will probably wed soon. David's father raises harness-racing horses and is very excited about a stallion named Joe Patchen. Training the horse is his longtime employee and his teenage daughter, Cissy (Gail Russell). But, at his first race, Joe P has an unfortunate accident and ruins one his legs. Undeterred, Mr. Palmer Sr. decides to breed the horse and see what happens. Fast forward three years. David is married and far wealthier, due to an invention. His wife couldn't be happier but, David feels something is missing. He begins spending more time with Joe's son, horse Dan Patch, who is even swifter than his sire. Cissy, too, has blossomed into a beautiful, sweet young lady who secretly loves David. With Dan Patch winning race after race, David gets caught up in the excitement, as does the entire country. But, could his personal life with his wife suffer? Does he truly love Cissy, too? This 1949 film highlights the true story of a horse, Dan Patch, who set many records for harness racing and was well-loved throughout the whole USA. Few have heard of him today, unfortunately, but many viewers will love watching his "tale". The cast is quite nice, with O'Keefe a dignified, handsome leading man and Russell unusually pretty. Watch out for Warrick, who went on to fame in the soaps! She makes a darn good "villianess". All of the supporting actors are very fine as well. Naturally, the film's look is the standard of the times but the editing and camera shots are interesting. Costumes, sets, script, and direction are worthy. Of course, there is some obvious political "incorrectness", as the horse farm's workers are African-American and shown in a mostly subservient role. Likely it is historically accurate to their positions but, they are shown here as stereotypically "step-and-fetch-its" without much intelligence. That's too bad but the story is still a good one and worth watching, despite its problems. If you love horses, you should try to find dear Dan P. I got mine at the Dollar Tree store, for a buck, and it brought much more pleasure than it cost.
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