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Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 3 December 1937 (USA)
A cocky young jockey who gets mixed up with some crooked gamblers befriends an English lad with a fast horse and the niece of a woman who runs a boarding house for jockeys.


Alfred E. Green


Lawrence Hazard (screen play), Eleanore Griffin (original story) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Judy Garland ... Cricket West
Mickey Rooney ... Timmie Donovan
Sophie Tucker ... Mother Ralph
C. Aubrey Smith ... Sir Peter Calverton
Ronald Sinclair ... Roger Calverton
Forrester Harvey ... Wilkins
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... 'Click' Donovan
Frankie Darro ... 'Dink' Reid
Henry Kolker ... 'Doc' Godfrey
Helen Troy ... Hilda


Cricket West is a hopeful actress with a plan and a pair of vocal chords that bring down the house. Along with her eccentric aunt, she plays host to the local jockeys, whose leader is the cocky but highly skilled Timmie Donovan. When a young English gentleman comes to town convincing Donovan to ride his horse in a high stakes race, the plot breaks into a speeding gallop. Donovan is disqualified from racing, but Cricket springs into action and heads into the home stretch riding high! Written by Shawn Ashley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fortune and Fame Staked on a Horse! (original print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Jan. 22, 1938) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is the second time Sophie Tucker co-starred with Judy Garland. In Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), Tucker had played Judy's mother. See more »


In the final race Frankie Darro is wearing no. 4 in the starting gate. Later in a close up he is wearing no. 7. Then at the finish he is again wearing no. 4. See more »


Roger Calverton: I just had to come and tell you the news.
Wilkins: What news? What's happened?
Roger Calverton: Oh, nothing very much, just that we're going to America.
Wilkins: [excited] To America?
Roger Calverton: Yes, for the cup.
Wilkins: Are you sure?
Roger Calverton: We're practically on the boat. Isn't it spifflicating?
Wilkins: You've hit the nail on the head, that's just what it is: spifflicating.
See more »


Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »


California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Buddy G. DeSylva, Al Jolson and Joseph Meyer
Played as background music when the train leaves for California
See more »

User Reviews

Horseplay at MGM
12 May 2013 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In a role obviously intended for an absent Freddie Bartholomew, British teenager Ronald Sinclair (as Roger Calverton) arrives in the United States with his grandfather's potentially prize-winning horse "Pookah". At the race-track, young Sinclair admires brash jockey Mickey Rooney (as Timmie Donovan) and wants him to ride "The Pookah" to victory. Sinclair meets perky Judy Garland (as Cricket West) at Mr. Rooney's boarding house, which is run by her assertive aunt Sophie Tucker...

Rooney is typically commanding and Sinclair is a good stand-in for Bartholomew. Accurately predicting she will be a successful singer and actress, Ms. Garland shines in support. Of the other jockeys, tough Frankie Darro (as "Dink" Reid) stands out; he will try to beat Sinclair in the climactic big race. The ending suggests the three leads, plus Ms. Tucker and funny Forrester Harvey (as Wilkins) were on their way to a potential series. The title "Goin' to Town" would have fit nicely...

The most interesting scene has Rooney ardently massaging Sinclair's upper thighs while Garland, outside the bedroom, sings about "Goin' to Town". If director Alfred E. Green asked Rooney to try and avoid Sinclair's buttocks, the advice was ignored. Also, Rooney repeatedly pulls down Sinclair's pants and throws him on his bed. This comes after an unintentionally sexual scene with Rooney teaching Sinclair how to ride a horse. Today, this sort of horseplay is interpreted differently.

****** Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (11/25/37) Alfred E. Green ~ Ronald Sinclair, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Sophie Tucker

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Release Date:

3 December 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alarm op de renbaan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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