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The Great Dan Patch (1949)

Passed | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 22 July 1949 (USA)
Story of the legendary trotting horse Dan Patch.


Joseph M. Newman (as Joe Newman)

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Cast overview:
Dennis O'Keefe ... David Palmer
Gail Russell ... Cissy Lathrop
Ruth Warrick ... Ruth Treadwell
Charlotte Greenwood ... Aunt Netty
Henry Hull ... Dan Palmer
John Hoyt ... Ben Lathrop
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Chet Williams
Clarence Muse ... Voodoo
Harry Lauter ... Bud Ransome
Highland Dale Highland Dale ... Dan Patch, a Horse


David Palmer, a young chemist, returns to his father's Indiana farm, to marry a local school teacher, Ruth Treadwell. David meets again his father's horse-trainer, Ben Lathrop, whose daughter, Cissy, has left high school to help her father. Palmer marries and becomes wealthy through an invention, and is able to indulge his socially-ambitious wife. His father dies and Palmer returns to Indiana, where his interest in harness-racing is rekindled, as is his interest in Cissy Lathrop. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Harness Racing's Great Drama! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 July 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ride a Reckless Mile See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

W.R. Frank Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mixed Team
Written by Alexander Laszlo
Sung by Clarence Muse
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User Reviews

My lovely horse
30 July 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Great Dan Patch" is not the sort of film I would normally watch. While some people absolutely adore horses and movies about them, I really don't care much for them one way or the other. I mostly watched it because I like Dennis O'Keefe and he stars in this one.

I had never heard of Dan Patch and didn't realize what an amazing horse he was. Apparently, he had the distinction of being an unbeaten horse in trotting races....something that seems impossible. He was so dominant that after a while they couldn't get horses to race against him! This movie is a biography which plays a bit fast and loose with the facts....with about as much truth as Hollywood in the story. So, if you only want the full and true story, read up on Dan Patch...don't watch the movie!

The story is essentially about the horse but told much more about the horse's owner and the owner's son, David (O'Keefe). Most of the story centers not on Patch's life and career but on David's marriage to an ornery woman (Ruth Warrick)...and another woman (Gail Russell) who secretly loved him. In support are some excellent actors--Henry Hull, John Hoyt and Clarence Muse.

So is it any good? Well, it is entertaining and the acting is nice....but it IS about horses. So, if you love 'em, see the film. If you're more ambivalent (like me), it's pretty skippable.

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