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The Rocking Horse Winner (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rocking Horse Winner
The Rocking Horse Winner poster.jpg
American theatrical release poster
Directed byAnthony Pelissier
Written byAnthony Pelissier
Based onThe Rocking-Horse Winner
by D. H. Lawrence
Produced byJohn Mills
Earl St. John
StarringValerie Hobson
John Howard Davies
Ronald Squire
CinematographyDesmond Dickinson
Edited byJohn Seabourne
Music byWilliam Alwyn
Production
company
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 30 November 1949 (1949-11-30) (UK)
  • 8 June 1950 (1950-06-08) (U.S.)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

The Rocking Horse Winner is a 1949 fantasy film about a young boy who can pick winners in horse races with complete accuracy.[1][2] It is an adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence short story The Rocking-Horse Winner and starred Valerie Hobson, John Howard Davies and Ronald Squire. Producer of the film John Mills also acted in the film.

It was shot at Denham Studios with sets designed by the art director Carmen Dillon.

Plot

The upper middle-class Grahame family are beset by money troubles, because of the lavishing tastes of Hester who spends far more than their income. Her elder brother Oscar bails her out several times but warns that he will not do so in future. Meanwhile her son Paul strikes up a friendship with Bassett, the new handyman and a former jockey. Paul is delighted when he receives a rocking horse for Christmas and shortly afterwards a whip. Concerns about the family's finances and his mother's unhappiness and lack of luck begin to effect Paul who is convinced that the house is whispering about them. He is seen riding his rocking horse in a total frenzy, terrifying his younger sisters.

Convinced that he is lucky, Paul asks Bassett to place a small wager on a horse. Proving to be exceptionally skilled at picking winners, which he claims to discover while riding his rocking horse, he soon forms a secret syndicate with Bassett and his uncle which is soon thousands of pounds in profit. Meanwhile Hester is struggling with bailiffs and forced to pawn clothes for a fraction of their real value. Desperate to help his mother, Paul agrees that thousands of pounds shall be given to his mother without her knowing its true source. They pretend this is an inheritance from a distant relative.

Rather than making her happier, Hester becomes even more driven in her reckless spending. Paul's apparent gift at picking winners has vanished, and the syndicate loses most of its winnings. Convinced that everything rides on choosing the victor for the Derby, Paul frantically rides on his horse. Eventually he cries out "Malabar" before suffering a seizure. Bassett places the money on the horse, in line with Paul's instructions, and wins £70,000. Shortly after the stricken boy is told of this he dies.

Cast

Reception

The film was considered a faithful adaptation of Lawrence's story.[3]

References

  1. ^ Variety film review; 21 December 1949, p. 8.
  2. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; 10 June 1950, p. 90.
  3. ^ "The Rocking Horse Winner Review". Variety. 31 December 1948.

Bibliography

  • The Great British Films, pp. 137–139, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 September 2021, at 02:52
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