In Old Kentucky (1935)

85 mins | Comedy | 22 November 1935

Director:

George Marshall

Producer:

Edward Butcher

Cinematographer:

L. W. O'Connell

Editor:

Jack Murray

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

This film was released after Will Rogers' death in an airplane crash on 15 Aug 1935. Although it was produced before Steamboat Round the Bend , In Old Kentucky was released following that film, because Twentieth Century-Fox decided to release what they decided was the stronger film first, according to modern sources. NYT commented about In Old Kentucky , "there is poignance and grief in the realization that there will be no new characterizations, no new plot structures for Mr. Rogers to animate."
       According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Libary, background material was to be filmed at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville 10 Sep--15 Sep 1934. It is not known if any of this material was used in the final film. According to a FD news item, Bill Robinson was assigned to this film because of his work in the 1935 Fox film The Little Colonel (see below). According to a DV news item, some scenes were shot at the Santa Anita Racetrack, in Arcadia, CA. According to modern sources, in Will Rogers' column of 12 May 1935, he stated that some scenes were shot at the stock ranch of Carleton Burke, the head of California's racing commission.
       The legal records also include information about a suit in 1970 by Lincoln Perry, otherwise known as Stepin Fetchit, in which he charged that Twentieth Century-Fox conspired with CBS to invade his privacy and defame his character by showing scenes of his acting from two films, Stand Up and Cheer (see ... More Less

This film was released after Will Rogers' death in an airplane crash on 15 Aug 1935. Although it was produced before Steamboat Round the Bend , In Old Kentucky was released following that film, because Twentieth Century-Fox decided to release what they decided was the stronger film first, according to modern sources. NYT commented about In Old Kentucky , "there is poignance and grief in the realization that there will be no new characterizations, no new plot structures for Mr. Rogers to animate."
       According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Libary, background material was to be filmed at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville 10 Sep--15 Sep 1934. It is not known if any of this material was used in the final film. According to a FD news item, Bill Robinson was assigned to this film because of his work in the 1935 Fox film The Little Colonel (see below). According to a DV news item, some scenes were shot at the Santa Anita Racetrack, in Arcadia, CA. According to modern sources, in Will Rogers' column of 12 May 1935, he stated that some scenes were shot at the stock ranch of Carleton Burke, the head of California's racing commission.
       The legal records also include information about a suit in 1970 by Lincoln Perry, otherwise known as Stepin Fetchit, in which he charged that Twentieth Century-Fox conspired with CBS to invade his privacy and defame his character by showing scenes of his acting from two films, Stand Up and Cheer (see below) and In Old Kentucky in a television program entitled Black History: Lost, Stolen or Forgotten . Twentieth Century-Fox legal officials found no evidence that Fetchit had appeared in the 1935 version of In Old Kentucky , and information about the disposition of the suit has not been located. In 1919, Anita Stewart Productions, Inc. produced a film based on the same source, directed by Marshall Neilan and starring Anita Stewart. M-G-M, in 1927, produced a film based on the same source, directed by John M. Stahl and starring James Murray, and in which Stepin Fetchit was featured (see entries above). Fox purchased the rights to film the story from M-G-M, who refused them permission to use any part of the negatives or prints from the previous versions, according to the legal records. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 May 35
p. 7.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 35
p. 19.
Film Daily
11 Mar 35
p. 7.
Film Daily
5 Jul 35
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
2 Jul 35
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
25 May 35
p. 50.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Jul 35
p. 61.
MPSI
1 May 35
p. 37.
MPSI
1 Jun 35
p. 15.
New York Times
29 Nov 35
p. 24.
Variety
4 Dec 35
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Asst sd
PRODUCTION MISC
Set lighting foreman
Bus mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play In Old Kentucky by Charles T. Dazey (New York, 28 Aug 1893).
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 November 1935
Production Date:
12 April--13 May 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 September 1935
Copyright Number:
LP6188
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,649
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1017
SYNOPSIS

Pole Shattuck, the wealthy head of an old Kentucky family, goes to court to have Ezra Martingale, the cantankerous head of the family with whom the Shattucks have feuded for years, committed as a public nuisance because Ezra chased him with a shotgun. Steve Tapley, the Shattuck horse trainer, hides Ezra in his cottage on the Shattuck farm to help his friend Nancy Martingale, Ezra's granddaughter. Upon learning that the sheriff has ordered Nancy either to produce Ezra or put up a $2,000 bond, Steve pays the money without telling Nancy. Shattuck then fires Steve. Steve plans to train the Martingale horse Greyboy for free, but Nancy sells the horse to raise the bond money to Slick Doherty from Louisville, without knowing that Doherty is an agent for Shattuck. After Greyboy is slightly injured in a fall, Dr. Lee Andrews, whom Shattuck has hired because of his up-to-date training methods, tells Shattuck says that the injury is liable to be serious because he wants to help Nancy, to whom he is attracted. Shattuck calls the deal off, and Lee then begins to court Nancy, which irks Shattuck's snobbish daughter Arlene. Soon Greyboy is nearly back to normal, but Steve feels that the horse needs a muddy track to win a race. Ezra disappears in search of rain and returns with Pluvious J. Aspinwall, a self-touted rainmaker. At the ball before the race, Steve, seeing Shattuck brag about his horse Emperor, bets him that Greyboy will win and offers as stakes the strip of land over which Martingales and Shattucks have been feuding. Lee convinces Nancy that Greyboy should not race until his injury has healed, ... +


Pole Shattuck, the wealthy head of an old Kentucky family, goes to court to have Ezra Martingale, the cantankerous head of the family with whom the Shattucks have feuded for years, committed as a public nuisance because Ezra chased him with a shotgun. Steve Tapley, the Shattuck horse trainer, hides Ezra in his cottage on the Shattuck farm to help his friend Nancy Martingale, Ezra's granddaughter. Upon learning that the sheriff has ordered Nancy either to produce Ezra or put up a $2,000 bond, Steve pays the money without telling Nancy. Shattuck then fires Steve. Steve plans to train the Martingale horse Greyboy for free, but Nancy sells the horse to raise the bond money to Slick Doherty from Louisville, without knowing that Doherty is an agent for Shattuck. After Greyboy is slightly injured in a fall, Dr. Lee Andrews, whom Shattuck has hired because of his up-to-date training methods, tells Shattuck says that the injury is liable to be serious because he wants to help Nancy, to whom he is attracted. Shattuck calls the deal off, and Lee then begins to court Nancy, which irks Shattuck's snobbish daughter Arlene. Soon Greyboy is nearly back to normal, but Steve feels that the horse needs a muddy track to win a race. Ezra disappears in search of rain and returns with Pluvious J. Aspinwall, a self-touted rainmaker. At the ball before the race, Steve, seeing Shattuck brag about his horse Emperor, bets him that Greyboy will win and offers as stakes the strip of land over which Martingales and Shattucks have been feuding. Lee convinces Nancy that Greyboy should not race until his injury has healed, but when Steve hears of this, he decides to steal the horse with the help of his black servant, Wash Jackson. The next day, after Ezra has shot some more times at Shattuck, Steve is arrested for hiding Ezra, but Wash gets Greyboy to the track. At the jail, Wash visits Steve, who then applies burnt cork to his face and tries to switch places with Wash and leave. Ordered to dance by the sheriff's deputy, Steve successfully imitates Wash, but the sheriff arrives and recognizes him. Steve nevertheless gets away and heads to the track, where, to convince Nancy to enter Greyboy, Steve's friend, Dolly Breckenridge, falsely states that she overheard Lee bragging to Arlene that he got Greyboy scratched. Hurt by this, Nancy refuses to listen to Lee and tells Steve to do what he wants, but Shattuck has paid the Martingale jockey not to ride. Steve gets Nancy to ride before he is caught by the sheriff. By convincing the sheriff that Greyboy is a sure bet, Steve gets him to go to the betting window, where Steve is able to bet $500. During the race, Pluvious attaches dynamite to a bunch of balloons, and as Greyboy is losing, the balloons hit a water tower and explode, causing the track to become muddy. Greyboy quickly passes the rest of the field and wins, after which Steve confesses his lie about Lee to Nancy. When Ezra chases Shattuck and Doherty with a rifle, Nancy begs Steve to retrieve him, but Steve tells her that's Lee's job now. Pluvious finally gets his rainmaking device to work, and Steve is left in the rain, handcuffed to a fence, while the sheriff goes to collect his money. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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