Saratoga (1937)

94 mins | Comedy-drama | 23 July 1937

Director:

Jack Conway

Producer:

Bernard H. Hyman

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Elmo Veron

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to various contemporary news items, Robert Hopkins submitted his treatment of Saratoga , based on his original story, in late Jul 1935 as a vehicle for Jean Harlow. In Dec 1936, HR reported that the picture was to star Clark Gable and Joan Crawford after a deal with Paramount to borrow Carole Lombard for the picture fell through. Harlow was again reported as the star in the early Spring of 1937. Other news items note that photographer Clyde De Vinna filmed background locations for the film in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky and in Saratoga, New York, along with assistant producer O. O. Dull and assistant director James Dugan, and that seven-month-old triplets, Jann, Kathleen and Sheila Andrews were to be in the film. Although some babies were seen in the viewed print, none of the Andrews triplets are mentioned in any cast lists and their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Walter Pidgeon was borrowed from Universal for the film. This was his first picture for M-G-M, a studio to which he would go under contract in 1938 and continue to work for until the mid-1950s.
       According to a HR production chart, John Eldredge was also in the cast, but he was not in the released film. Harlow died on 7 Jun 1937 at the age of twenty-six, before completion of this film. According to news items in trade papers of the time, M-G-M was planning to shelve the picture or re-shoot Harlow's scenes with another actress, possibly Virginia Bruce or Jean Arthur. The decision to recoup the $300,000 negative cost of the ... More Less

According to various contemporary news items, Robert Hopkins submitted his treatment of Saratoga , based on his original story, in late Jul 1935 as a vehicle for Jean Harlow. In Dec 1936, HR reported that the picture was to star Clark Gable and Joan Crawford after a deal with Paramount to borrow Carole Lombard for the picture fell through. Harlow was again reported as the star in the early Spring of 1937. Other news items note that photographer Clyde De Vinna filmed background locations for the film in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky and in Saratoga, New York, along with assistant producer O. O. Dull and assistant director James Dugan, and that seven-month-old triplets, Jann, Kathleen and Sheila Andrews were to be in the film. Although some babies were seen in the viewed print, none of the Andrews triplets are mentioned in any cast lists and their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Walter Pidgeon was borrowed from Universal for the film. This was his first picture for M-G-M, a studio to which he would go under contract in 1938 and continue to work for until the mid-1950s.
       According to a HR production chart, John Eldredge was also in the cast, but he was not in the released film. Harlow died on 7 Jun 1937 at the age of twenty-six, before completion of this film. According to news items in trade papers of the time, M-G-M was planning to shelve the picture or re-shoot Harlow's scenes with another actress, possibly Virginia Bruce or Jean Arthur. The decision to recoup the $300,000 negative cost of the film was reported in HR on 11 Jun 1937. News items in HR mentioned that a preview of the film in late June encouraged M-G-M executives that audiences would not be adverse to seeing the film with the recently deceased star. They decided to complete it as shot using Harlow's stand-in, Mary Dees, in some of the scenes. On 31 Jul, M-G-M took out an ad in HR thanking the public for the outpouring of fan mail encouraging them not to shelve the picture and to edit it in "record time" for a July release. Most reviews were positive on the film but did note the sadness of seeing Harlow on screen after her death. According to modern sources, during film on Saratoga , Gable brought the actor billed in the CBCS as "Edward James Flanagan," to the attention of studio executives as a potential star. Flanagan acted in several additional "bit" parts in 1937, either as Bud Flanagan or Edward James Flanagan, until he received a co-starring role under the name Dennis O'Keefe in The Bad Man of Brimstone in late 1937 (see above). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Jul 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Jul 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 37
p. 3, 11
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 37
p. 1, 9
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Jul 37
p. 4
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jul 37
p. 46.
Motion Picture Herald
31 Jul 37
pp. 38-39.
New York Times
23 Jul 37
p. 16.
Variety
14 Jul 37
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr and orig story
Scr and orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Saratoga background photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
STAND INS
Stand-in for Jean Harlow and fill-in actress in th
SOURCES
SONGS
"Saratoga" and "The Horse with the Dreamy Eyes," music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest.
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 July 1937
Production Date:
22 April--26 June 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
19 July 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7354
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
94
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3534
SYNOPSIS

Bookie Duke Bradley reluctantly accepts the deed to his friend Frank Clayton's horse farm out of fondness for him and Clayton's crusty father, Grandpa. When Clayton dies of a heart attack during an important race, just after his daughter Carol returns from a long stay in Europe, Duke offers to forgive the debt. Her fiancé, millionaire Hartley Madison, wants to pay Duke, but Carol vows to repay the loan to Duke before she marries, through her own efforts as a handicapper. Although they are frequently at odds, Duke and Carol fall in love as they travel from track to track on the "racing special" train. Despite his feelings for Carol, Duke is trying to coax Hartley into betting huge sums as recompense for money that Hartley won from him years before. As a result, Carol is suspicious of Duke's feelings and tells Hartley that she will marry him as soon as her horse wins the big Saratoga race. Hartley makes the race even more important when he places a large bet with Duke on Carol's horse, even though the favorite is a horse owned by Fritzi Kiffmeyer, an old friend of Duke's who is now married to a cosmetics tycoon. The race is a "photo finish," which necessitates projection of the motion picture footage of the finish line to determine the winner. As the spectators of the race results are cheering on their horses, Carol suddenly begins to cheer for Fritzi's horse because she doesn't want Duke to be ruined. When Fritzi's horse is proclaimed the winner, Duke and Carol take each other's hands. Finally, Carol and Duke are riding on another ... +


Bookie Duke Bradley reluctantly accepts the deed to his friend Frank Clayton's horse farm out of fondness for him and Clayton's crusty father, Grandpa. When Clayton dies of a heart attack during an important race, just after his daughter Carol returns from a long stay in Europe, Duke offers to forgive the debt. Her fiancé, millionaire Hartley Madison, wants to pay Duke, but Carol vows to repay the loan to Duke before she marries, through her own efforts as a handicapper. Although they are frequently at odds, Duke and Carol fall in love as they travel from track to track on the "racing special" train. Despite his feelings for Carol, Duke is trying to coax Hartley into betting huge sums as recompense for money that Hartley won from him years before. As a result, Carol is suspicious of Duke's feelings and tells Hartley that she will marry him as soon as her horse wins the big Saratoga race. Hartley makes the race even more important when he places a large bet with Duke on Carol's horse, even though the favorite is a horse owned by Fritzi Kiffmeyer, an old friend of Duke's who is now married to a cosmetics tycoon. The race is a "photo finish," which necessitates projection of the motion picture footage of the finish line to determine the winner. As the spectators of the race results are cheering on their horses, Carol suddenly begins to cheer for Fritzi's horse because she doesn't want Duke to be ruined. When Fritzi's horse is proclaimed the winner, Duke and Carol take each other's hands. Finally, Carol and Duke are riding on another "racing special," happy to be together. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Horse race


Subject

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

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