7.3/10
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20 user 12 critic

The Dark Horse (1932)

Passed | | Comedy | 16 June 1932 (USA)
Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.

Director:

Alfred E. Green
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... Hal Samson Blake
Bette Davis ... Kay Russell
Guy Kibbee ... Zachary Hicks
Vivienne Osborne ... Maybelle Blake, Hal's ex-wife
Frank McHugh ... Joe
Sam Hardy ... Mr. Black
Harry Holman ... Mr. Jones
Charles Sellon ... Mr. Green
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Sheriff (as Robert E. O'Connor)
Berton Churchill ... William A. Underwood
Robert Warwick ... Mr. Clark
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Storyline

Zachary Hicks is nominated at the Progressive party's convention even though he has little chance of winning the governorship. Kay suggests the party bosses hire Hal Blake (whom she loves) as campaign manager. Hal is in jail for falling behind in his alimony payments to Maybelle, but Kay convinces the politicians to seem him in prison, Impressed with the speech they hear him deliver to a cellmate, the committee pays Hal's fine and back alimony payments. Hal takes on the campaign and several marital arrangements. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Czarny rumak See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Here are the lyrics that Hal Blake wrote for the Hicks campaign song while in jail. They are sung to the tune of "East Side, West Side." - "Up state, down state, cities and the sticks, The voters yell for a change, And babies cry for Hicks! Boys and girls together, Toms and Harrys and Dicks, Climb the big band wagon, While they cast their vote for Hicks!" See more »

Quotes

Hal Samson Blake: I tell ya, I'll make you the best husband in captivity.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Sung in Prison and at the debate with new election lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A not-to-be-missed pre-code gem!
6 December 2011 | by gort-8See all my reviews

I've read that the Warner's release, High Pressure, with William Powell, as the fast-talking pitchman Gar Evans, was a hit when it was released in January, 1932. Daryl Zanuck (writing as Mark Canfield) wrote a sequel. When Warner's couldn't get the writer of the original novel to agree to a price that they wanted to pay they transformed conman Gar Evans into the rapid-fire king-maker "Hal Blake." Instead of goods he was selling candidates. They bumped Powell (fearing a lawsuit if they used the same actor for similar characters) in favor of Warren William and the movie became The Dark Horse.

What a crackerjack little film! It had a large cast of assembly-line actors and crew who knew how to crank out a film hot enough to ignite the nitrate stock it was printed on. This film went through pre- production, production and post-production in time for its release in June, 1932. That's just five months after the film that inspired it! Its rushed release didn't show in its spot-on rapid fire dialog or delivery.

Other reviewers have whined about a later subplot involving Hal Blake's ex. By that time I was so completely won over the charms of this pre- code gem that I completely accepted, and enjoyed, the late curveball.

How could you not love a movie with a song like:

Upstate, downstate Cities and the sticks, The voters yell for change Even babies cry for Hicks! Boys and girls together Toms and Harrys and Dicks, Climb the big bandwagon, While they cast their vote for Hicks!


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