Sporting Blood (1931)

80, 82 or 84 mins | Comedy-drama | 8 August 1931

Director:

Charles Brabin

Cinematographer:

Harold Rosson

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

A working title for this film was Horseflesh . The NYT review notes that Vice-President Charles Curtis appeared in the background in a racing scene. Modern sources credit William Gray as the film editor. According to an onscreen acknowledgment, the farm scenes were filmed "on location in the blue grass [country] of Lexington and Hopkinsville, Kentucky." Recognition is also given to the Elmendorf, Greentree, Dixiana and Elmsdale Stock Farms for their cooperation. The Var review of the film notes that scenes of the races at Latonia and Churchill Downs were taken from newsreel footage. A modern source incorrectly claims that M-G-M's 1940 film Sporting Blood (see below) was based on the same ... More Less

A working title for this film was Horseflesh . The NYT review notes that Vice-President Charles Curtis appeared in the background in a racing scene. Modern sources credit William Gray as the film editor. According to an onscreen acknowledgment, the farm scenes were filmed "on location in the blue grass [country] of Lexington and Hopkinsville, Kentucky." Recognition is also given to the Elmendorf, Greentree, Dixiana and Elmsdale Stock Farms for their cooperation. The Var review of the film notes that scenes of the races at Latonia and Churchill Downs were taken from newsreel footage. A modern source incorrectly claims that M-G-M's 1940 film Sporting Blood (see below) was based on the same source. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
16 Aug 31
p. 10.
HF
23 May 31
p. 32.
HF
11 Jul 31
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 31
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jul 31
p. 38.
New York Times
15 Aug 31
p. 18.
New York Times
23 Aug 31
p. 5.
Variety
18 Aug 31
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
A Biography comp for the screen by
A Biography comp for the screen by
A Biography comp for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Horse Flesh" by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan in The Saturday Evening Post (13 Sep 1930).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Horseflesh
Release Date:
8 August 1931
Production Date:
mid May--mid July 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 August 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2376
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80, 82 or 84
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Horse breeder Jim Rellence is proud of his horses and takes pleasure in extolling their virtues to prospective buyers. One day, during a rainstorm, Jim's favorite mare, Southern Queen, slips on a muddy trail and is injured beyond hope of recovery. Uncle Ben, a ranch hand on Jim's ranch, shoots the ailing horse and agrees to adopt the mare's orphaned foal, Tommy Boy. Years later, Tommy Boy is ridden for the first time by Uncle Ben's son Sam, but the boy falls off. Jim raises horses to sell them, but finds that he is unable to put Tommy Boy up for sale because he has become sentimentally attached to the horse. Although Uncle Ben warns Jim no good will come out of his hesitance to sell the horse, Jim hides Tommy Boy when B. H. Hartwick, a buyer, asks to see the colt. When Hartwick finally manages to get a look at the horse, he is so impressed that he offers Jim $6,000 for him. Jim is hesitant to sell, but eventually takes Hartwick's offer and sadly parts with the colt. Later, at the Latonia racetrack, Tommy Boy wins an easy victory for Hartwick. Hartwick is soon offered money for the horse by the wealthy Mr. Ludeking, whose impulsive wife Angela has decided that she must buy Tommy Boy because she likes his colors. Tommy Boy is sold for $40,000, but Angela becomes hysterical when the horse loses its next race. Later, when Ludeking, a gambler, fails to win back his losses at the card table, he is forced to sell the horse to Tip Scanlon, the unscrupulous owner of the gambling house. ... +


Horse breeder Jim Rellence is proud of his horses and takes pleasure in extolling their virtues to prospective buyers. One day, during a rainstorm, Jim's favorite mare, Southern Queen, slips on a muddy trail and is injured beyond hope of recovery. Uncle Ben, a ranch hand on Jim's ranch, shoots the ailing horse and agrees to adopt the mare's orphaned foal, Tommy Boy. Years later, Tommy Boy is ridden for the first time by Uncle Ben's son Sam, but the boy falls off. Jim raises horses to sell them, but finds that he is unable to put Tommy Boy up for sale because he has become sentimentally attached to the horse. Although Uncle Ben warns Jim no good will come out of his hesitance to sell the horse, Jim hides Tommy Boy when B. H. Hartwick, a buyer, asks to see the colt. When Hartwick finally manages to get a look at the horse, he is so impressed that he offers Jim $6,000 for him. Jim is hesitant to sell, but eventually takes Hartwick's offer and sadly parts with the colt. Later, at the Latonia racetrack, Tommy Boy wins an easy victory for Hartwick. Hartwick is soon offered money for the horse by the wealthy Mr. Ludeking, whose impulsive wife Angela has decided that she must buy Tommy Boy because she likes his colors. Tommy Boy is sold for $40,000, but Angela becomes hysterical when the horse loses its next race. Later, when Ludeking, a gambler, fails to win back his losses at the card table, he is forced to sell the horse to Tip Scanlon, the unscrupulous owner of the gambling house. Casino card dealer Rid Riddell is in love with Ruby, who is also employed by Scanlon in his casino, but their romance is forbidden by their boss. When Tommy Boy loses an important moneymaking race, it is discovered that Scanlon has been abusing and drugging Tommy Boy to improve his performance. Fearing retribution from mobsters who were counting on Tommy Boy's big win, Scanlon gives the horse to Ruby as he attempts to flee to Philadelphia, but he is murdered before he can escape. Ruby turns down Rid's offer to help Tommy Boy get back in top form and race him honestly, she decides to give herself, as well as the horse, a much needed country vacation. Ruby tells Rid that there are too many "maybes and probablies" about him, and that she will not allow him to accompany her on the trip. She then finds the horse's original owner and takes him to Jim in the hope that he can rehabilitate Tommy Boy. Not only does Jim welcome the horse back, but he offers Ruby a room in his large house, which she gladly accepts. Sometime later, Rid visits Ruby and remarks on how well both she and Tommy Boy have been restored to their old selves. Ruby, however, is disappointed that Rid has not changed since Scanlon's death. When Ruby enters Tommy Boy in the Kentucky Derby, the horse is instantly favored to win. As soon as Rid learns that Jim has bet on his horse, he tells Scanlons's thugs about it, which results in a plan to sabotage Tommy Boy's run. Prior to the race, Uncle Ben is tipped off to the scheme and manages, in the last minute, to insure the horse's unfettered run. After Tommy Boy wins the race, Ruby blames Rid for the sabotage attempt, but forgives him when she discovers that Rid was the one who tipped off Uncle Ben about the attempt to fix the race. With her faith in his integrity restored, Ruby kisses Rid. +

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

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