6.2/10
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15 user 6 critic

Sporting Blood (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 8 August 1931 (USA)
The saga of thoroughbred Tommy Boy, born in a rain puddle, and his various owners as he evolves into a a champion stakes horse.

Director:

Charles Brabin

Writers:

Frederick Hazlitt Brennan (story "Horseflesh"), Charles Brabin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Warren 'Rid' Riddell
Ernest Torrence ... Mr. Jim Rellence
Madge Evans ... Miss 'Missy' Ruby
Lew Cody ... Tip Scanlon
Marie Prevost ... Angela 'Angie' Ludeking
Hallam Cooley ... Bill Ludeking
J. Farrell MacDonald ... MacGuire (as J. Farrell McDonald)
John Larkin ... Uncle Ben
Eugene Jackson Eugene Jackson ... Sam 'Sammy'
Tommy Boy Tommy Boy ... Tommy Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Curtis ... Charles Curtis, Vice-President of the United States, at Kentucky Derby (archive footage)
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Storyline

Valued thoroughbred mare Southern Queen slips and falls in a mud puddle, breaking her leg. Before she is destroyed, she gives birth to Tommy Boy, who becomes the favorite of his owner, horse breeder Jim Rellence. Ultimately a reluctant Rellence is forced to sell the one-year old to a prominent sportsman, and Tommy enters the world of high stakes racing. He goes through a variety of owners, all of whom have their own selfish agenda for the horse. Ultimately he ends up with Ruby, the mistress of a murdered racketeer, who wants Tommy to fulfill his true potential as a stakes horse and enters him in the Kentucky Derby. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vollblut See more »

Filming Locations:

Kentucky, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$302,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The announcer at the beginning of the Churchill Downs scenes states it is the 57th running of the Kentucky Derby, making the date May 16, 1931. The actual winner of the race was named Twenty Grand from Greentree Stable. Both horse and stable are mentioned at the opening of the film. See more »

Goofs

The medium shots and close-ups of Uncle Ben bottle-feeding the young colt Tommy Boy don't match. See more »

Quotes

Warren 'Rid' Riddell: Well, let me tell you something. Don't get too high on a horse. They'll disappoint you.
Miss 'Missy' Ruby: Tommy couldn't disappoint as much as some men have.
See more »

Crazy Credits

...to Man-O'-War, Zev, Crusader, Fair Play, Gallant Fox, Twenty-Grand and all the heroes of the turf and track, this record is reverently dedicated. See more »

Connections

Remade as Sporting Blood (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the band at the Kentucky Derby
Reprised by the band after the race
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie with a heart for horses
20 August 2011 | by tedoffensiveSee all my reviews

This is the first movie I have seen about horses that understands horses. It also understands, better than most, the ties that grow between the people that work with horses and their charges. The stable hands and breeder roles are developed. Indeed, the stable hands are all black and (for the time) are shown with a range of emotions, humanity, and (shockingly) as having families.

Furthermore the horses are represented as having community among themselves, communicating among themselves, and even caring about the fates of other horses. Add to this the remarkable and touching scenes between the stable hands (notably John Larkin and Eugene Jackson)and the horses throughout the film. The breeder is also notably tender hearted.

The starring roles and plot are well handled. Gable appears late in the film, but commands attention. The female lead is played with backbone and heart. The plot moves swiftly, but not at the expense of creating empathy with the situations at hand. I look forward to exploring further films directed by Charles Brabin.


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