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
...
Bill Nack
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
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Match Race Fan
Craig Clary ...
Race Fan
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NYC TV Reporter
Mellinda Craig ...
High Class Racetrack Patron
Kip Cummings ...
Reporter / Race Fan
...
Saratoga Race Fan
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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

Sam Shepard so completely resembled Ruffian's trainer Frank Whitely, He once mistook vintage footage of Ruffian with Frank Whitely as a daily shot when viewing editing of 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

 
Some inaccuracies but interesting just the same
18 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Overall this is a good film about a great horse, Ruffian. It presented a time capsule of the racing world in 1974-75. One theme was that racing needed a great horse to draw crowds and the tracks (the New York tracks particularly) were empty due to lack of interest. This isn't entirely true. Secretariat raced in 1972-73 and he was in the first running of the Marlboro Cup which attracted champion horses. And the Marlboro Cup which was a pre Breeders Cup race attracted huge crowds. The film implies that Ruffian got more people to the empty track. Not entirely true--she most likely attracted new fans but the fans packed the stands for the Big races like the Belmont Stakes and Marlboro Cup. Also, Foolish Pleasure is raised to War Admiral like quality in the run through to the match race. However, Foolish Pleasure was not THE standout three year old colt of 1975--it was actually Wajima who became Champion three year old colt of that year. Foolish Pleasure was a nice racehorse but nowhere near this superhorse the movie implied he was.

Also, there was a painfully long sequence of the run on the backstretch where Ruffian broke down (run in slow motion showing the leg actually snapping in close up). I think perhaps just running the actual race would have been shown to better effect.

Sam Shepard did an excellent job as Ruffian's trainer Frank Whitely. The actors playing the owners were given rather unsympathetic parts particularly when they pushed for the match race. The film also had an interesting angle of the viewpoint of the Newsday reporter who followed the career of the great filly.

The sequences of the real Ruffian in the closing credits were refreshing to watch. More scenes of her races (not the simulated ones) would have been welcome.


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