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

Because Ruffian was such a large filly, larger even than many colts (including Foolish Pleasure), they used geldings to portray her in the film. 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

Magnificent job, somewhat short on early career
12 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

I had just gotten interested in the Triple Crown races for colts when the famous "Battle of the Sexes" aired, and I do remember what happened to Ruffian. If you are not familiar with the story, I won't give away the ending, but the events in the last few minutes of this movie may be upsetting to some people.

Sam Shepard did an outstanding job as the horse's trainer. Some of his reactions were not what I expected, but since the characters in this movie were supposedly real, perhaps he really did what was depicted. In that case, Frank Whiteley was an amazing man. He cared about his horses and about doing the right thing, but at some point he had to say yes, it's terrible, but life goes on.

Frank Whaley did a very good job as a leading sports reporter. His personality didn't appeal to me personally, but he was quite a character. Vladimir Diaz did well as Jacinto Vasquez, the jockey who rode Ruffian on several occasions, a man depicted as having high moral standards despite all that was happening.

The track announcers were excellent. And most of the leading actors gave good performances.

The horse action was well done. We saw numerous unusual camera angles of the races. Every win by Ruffian was shown in slow motion.

I liked the joke played on the reporters at Ruffian's stall. All this hype was seen as ridiculous by certain characters, as well it should have been. And this was 30 years before Paris Hilton!

Effective use was made of what appeared to be real footage of fans of both Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure as horse racing's answer to Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs approached. And of course extras wore the t-shirts and cheered for their horse. This all drove home the point that this event was kind of silly. Several times it was suggested Ruffian could have just competed against the guys--Rags to Riches did just that the day I saw this--but if that never happened, then it couldn't have been in the movie.

Displayed on the screen was a reminder that some events in the movie were fictional. Included among these was the specific event--shown in slow motion--that may have caused what I'm not giving away. Also shown on screen at the movie's end was the fact that no one really knows WHAT happened.

The only weakness I saw was the fact that Ruffian's early career was rushed. The big event in her life was given so much time that the only way to adequately show her progress would have been to make this a three-hour movie (commercials included) rather than two. Perhaps two and a half would have been enough.

But for the time allotted, this was a fine effort.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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