The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)

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


(as Anthony Pélissier)


(short story), (screenplay) (as Anthony Pélissier)
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Cast overview:
John Howard Davies ...
Ronald Squire ...
Hugh Sinclair ...
Charles Goldner ...
Susan Richards ...
Cyril Smith ...


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


Exciting As Your Wildest Dreams! See more »


Drama | Fantasy


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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  »

Did You Know?


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


Version of The Rocking Horse Winner (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Dark overtones in this strange fantasy from a D.H. Lawrence short story...
3 December 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

JOHN HOWARD DAVIES is the boy with the sinister rocking horse that enables him to predict winners of the forthcoming races. JOHN MILLS is the man who teaches him how to ride the horse, unintentionally setting up the tragic circumstances that unfold.

But it's VALERIE HOBSON as the selfish, compulsive spender living in middle-class luxury with hubby HUGH SINCLAIR, a man who can't keep up with her spending habits, who makes the most of a juicy role.Lucky for her, she has a well-to-do brother, played by RONALD SQUIRE, who becomes her private bank until his funds run out.

Then comes the heart of the story as we get to the boy and his magic rocking horse. It's this aspect of the dark fantasy that provides the most gripping moments of the film. However, even more could have been done to provide the suspense and conflict involved in the boy's desire to win money so that he could keep his mother and father from being bankrupt. In this respect, William Alwyn's background score is a great asset.

Hobson, Ronald Squire and John Mills give the best performances in the film. Hugh Sinclair is wasted as the weak husband. Davies benefits from good direction but seems to be playing his role according to detailed direction rather than living it.

Highly recommended as an unusual exercise in fantasy/suspense with a noir quality.

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