A look at the life of the thoroughbred filly that dominated horse racing in the early 1970s.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Frank Whiteley
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Mike Bell
...
Female Sports Reporter #2
...
Cassie
Barry Barton ...
News Reporter
Christine Belford ...
Barbara Janney
...
The Lout
John T. Billingsley ...
News Camera Man
...
Match Race Fan
Craig Clary ...
Race Fan
...
NYC TV Reporter
Mellinda Craig ...
High Class Racetrack Patron
Kip Cummings ...
Reporter / Race Fan
...
Saratoga Race Fan
...
CBS Exec.
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Storyline

A look at the life of the thoroughbred filly that dominated horse racing in the early 1970s.

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Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

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Release Date:

9 June 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruffian - Die Wunderstute  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Ruffian breaks down during the Great Match Race with the colt Foolish Pleasure, the character of journalist Bill Nack is seen running onto the track attempting to help Ruffian. He very narrowly avoids colliding with Foolish Pleasure. This actually happened. Bill Nack later described going under a barrier and running onto the track with his eyes fixed on the injured filly Ruffian. Only when the jockey of Foolish Pleasure screamed, "Hey!" to get his attention, did Nack realize he was directly in the path of the horse. Bill Nack stopped in his tracks, and narrowly missed being run over by the 1,200 colt, who was finishing the race. See more »

Goofs

In certain camera angles, it can be seen that the horses playing Ruffian are actually male ( geldings) and not fillies. See more »

Connections

Featured in 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pleasantly surprised
11 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

As an avid fan of Thoroughbred horse racing, and someone who followed Ruffian's career including witnessing her final race, I was pleasantly surprised by this made-for-TV film. Earlier in the day, the ABC network broadcast the Belmont Stakes in which viewers saw the unique character befitting many of the long-time sportswriters who cover Thoroughbred racing. Unfortunately for the film, Frank Whaley failed to deliver that persona in the key role of sportswriter Bill Nack. However, Sam Shepard in the starring role of trainer Frank Whiteley gave a most believable performance, capturing the real life trainer's restrained professionalism. While the film's setup for the Sorority Stakes was good, I would like to have seen more background as a lead into each of the races depicted. The writers capably demonstrated how the horse, even against the wishes of its trainer, was secondary to "filling the stands" for the moguls of the racing industry. To his credit, French-Canadian director Yves Simoneau did not overly dramatize the horse's final moments, instead, effectively borrowing the eye/lash closeup created by Krzysztof Kieslowski in his French-language film, "Trois couleurs: Bleu"


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