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The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 648 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 14 critic

A young boy receives a rocking horse for Christmas and soon learns that he is able to pick the winning horse at the races.

Director:

(as Anthony Pélissier)

Writers:

(short story), (screenplay)
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Title: The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
John Howard Davies ...
Ronald Squire ...
...
Hugh Sinclair ...
Richard Grahame
Charles Goldner ...
Mr. Tsaldouris
Susan Richards ...
Nannie
Cyril Smith ...
Bailiff
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Storyline

In London, the young Paul Grahame lives with his upper class but financially broken family. His wasteful mother Hester Grahame is a compulsive buyer, spending all the family money on new expensive dresses, jewels and objects for their home. His father Richard Grahame is a gambler, losing money in the horse races. His uncle Oscar Cresswell is permanently covering the Grahame family debts. When the servant Bassett is hired, Paul finds that he can predict the winner of the horse races by rocking his wooden horse. Paul asks Bassett to become his partner. The two of them bet their money on the races. Paul wants to prove that he is lucky in order to silence the house, which perpetually whispers to him that it needs more money. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"One of the finest portrayals of youthful distress that you are ever likely to witness." -- N.Y. TIMES See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 November 1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Amartiai goneon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Bassett: Are you looking for me?
Paul Grahame: You're Bassett, aren't you?
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Connections

Version of The Rocking Horse Winner (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

A boy learns how to ride
24 June 2004 | by (Oxford, UK) – See all my reviews

This is a very intriguing British film, quite unlike most others from the period; it's a pretty dark Freudian tale, from a D H Lawrence short story, whose overt depiction of a schoolboy and his magic toy gets away with a strictly taboo subtext. The focus is on a well-to-do household of the period, in which the hierarchy of adults and children is strictly defined; the parents try to keep their son Paul, wearing short trousers even in the depths of winter, innocent of their adult concerns – in particular, their problems with money. After discovering that his rocking horse gives him secret powers when he rides it hard enough, with giddy camera-work showing how it feels when he 'gets there', the boy tries to usurp his father's role to provide his mother with what she needs. John Mills produced the film, and his interest was no doubt linked to his typecast image: he normally plays rather piously unimpeachable characters, so it's quite a shock to see him here directing the lad's first experience of 'riding'. The only slight difficulty is that the boy actor needed to be nearer his early teens to carry the weight of the story's darker implications.


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