Sporting Blood (1931)
Release Date: August 8, 1931
Directed by: Charles Brabin
Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection
Sporting Blood is the story of Tommy Boy, a colt cherished by his breeder who ultimately sells him when an offer is presented that he can’t refuse. The horse changes hands a few times before landing in the hands of a mobster that Warren “Rid” Riddell (Gable) is working for and whom Ruby (Evans) is entangled with. The mobster drugs the horse and mistreats him until finally the horse just wears out and loses a big race. The mobster’s friends all bet on the horse based on his assurance of a win and are none too pleased to lose their money. Thus the mobster ends up dead. Ruby takes ownership of the horse and gets him back in racing form by taking him back to the breeder’s farm. But does he have what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby?
“Why not let it stand?” first line
“Come here, woman!”
“I could be crazy about you.”
“I like your nerve, kid, but that’s all it is: just nerve.”
“Oh, I don’t want to fight. I want to make love at you.”
“Yeah, one thing. I said we needed a new deal. I guess we better take it, eh, kid?”last line
Behind the Scenes:
Based on a true story about a horse named Sporting Blood. The film changed the horse’s name to Tommy Boy but oddly kept the title.
Clark’s first “starring” role. He is top-billed in this small feature (although still below the title) but doesn’t appear on screen until nearly 45 minutes into the film.
The film was released as a double feature with Night Nurse in many theaters.