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In Old Kentucky (1935)

Horse trainer Steve Tapley is caught between the feuding Martingale and Shattuck families. He sides with young Nancy Martingale and her grandfather Ezra, and the feud is to be resolved by a... See full summary »


George Marshall

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Complete credited cast:
Will Rogers ... Steve Tapley
Dorothy Wilson ... Nancy Martingale
Russell Hardie ... Dr. Lee Andrews
Charles Sellon ... Ezra Martingale
Louise Henry ... Arlene Shattuck
Esther Dale ... Dolly Breckenridge
Alan Dinehart ... Slick Doherty
Charles Richman ... Pole Shattuck
Etienne Girardot ... Pluvius J. Aspinwall, the Rainmaker
John Ince ... Sheriff
Bill Robinson ... Wash Jackson
Greyboy the Horse Greyboy the Horse ... Greyboy


Horse trainer Steve Tapley is caught between the feuding Martingale and Shattuck families. He sides with young Nancy Martingale and her grandfather Ezra, and the feud is to be resolved by a horse race between the favorites of each family. Unfortunately, the Martingale's horse, Greyboy, only runs well in mud. And it hasn't rained in a long time. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Release Date:

28 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dois Campeões See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final movie performance of Will Rogers. Released posthumously. See more »


Version of In Old Kentucky (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

Will Rogers' Last Bow
17 August 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A feud has been simmering for years between two prominent families of horse breeders IN OLD KENTUCKY's Bluegrass Country. Eventually, it will take the cunning of a crafty old horse trainer to set matters right, while also promoting a little romance on the side...

As always, it is immensely pleasurable to watch Will Rogers at work. Exuding folksy homespun charm, he made acting look so easy, and here he is obviously having a good time in a pleasant film which features some excellent sequences. (Will's foray into a dress shop has to be one of the funniest scenes in any of his films.) Essentially, Will is simply playing himself and he is perfectly cast.

All of the co-stars do a very competent job, but three should be singled out. Elderly Charles Sellon is hilarious as a shotgun toting grandpa who is a menace to the entire community. Tiny Etienne Girardot is puckish as a screwball rainmaker. And the legendary Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson is on hand, displaying some of his fanciest, most breathtaking footwork. At this point in his career, Robinson was simply beyond praise & without compare; the scene where he teaches Rogers to tap-dance is delightful.

It should be noted that there is more than just a little racism in the story. It should also be understood that this was not unusual in Hollywood films of that era.

Released 3 months after his tragic & untimely death, this was Will Rogers' final film. He loved adventure & travel & seeing what was around the next bend or over the horizon. In August of 1935 he left with 35-year old Wiley Post, the famed aviator who was first to solo around the world, on a trip to Alaska to check on chances of initiating an Arctic mail route to Russia. In what still remains something of a mystery, the plane crashed moments after taking off near Point Barrow, Alaska. Both men were killed instantly. (Will had been in the back seat of the plane, his portable typewriter on his lap, working on his weekly newspaper column. The last word he typed was 'death'.) The entire nation went into mourning.

What was it that made Americans adore Will Rogers, this plain speaking quarter-Cherokee cowboy from Oklahoma? Two reasons stand out: first he was one of the people. Although he conquered vaudeville, Broadway, radio & the movies, ending his life as Hollywood's number one box office male and the highest salaried actor in films, he never let it go to his head. He always remained 'common' and he genuinely liked every man he ever met. Second, Will was good, decent, & honorable, a true secular saint, the sort of fellow who comes along only too rarely and has the ability to lighten the mood of an entire nation. We have not seen his like since.

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