We spend the day with Bess, considered by many to be the smartest horse in the movies, as she works with her trainer.


(as Harry W. Loud)


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Cast overview:
Bess ...
Herself (horse)
Joe Adkinson ...


We visit MGM Studio's zoo and animal training facility where trainer Joe Adkinson wants to put Bess, the world's smartest horse, through her practice drills. But before he can start, Bess opens the gate to the compound and heads for a pond, taking Joe's hat with her. Back in the paddock, in front of a lion, a couple of elephants, and Lassie, Bess shows off her ability to respond to Joe's commands. With a receptive vocabulary of more than 500 words, she backs up, trots, speeds up, pivots, stretches, and, in her most complicated maneuver, follows Joe's instructions to lie down and then ignore his commands that she rise. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short





Release Date:

24 October 1946 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

a well-trained Hollywood horse
23 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just watched the last half of this short film on turner classic movies. Amazing - best horse and trainer bit I've seen, although cutting in the film may have made the horse out to be smarter than it actually is. The horse seems to follow any command the trainer gives her with almost no cues other than his voice. I saw the horse calmly stand on a small platform 4x4 feet or so on command, then neigh, rear up get angry and snap on command. Then it laid down on the ground on command, acted wounded and sick and then on command it would try to get up and fall back down. At the end, she let herself back into her stall on her own - lifting the latch herself. Definitely at the very least a very well-trained horse. The end voice-over claimed she understood upwards of 400 commands.

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