The Great Dan Patch (November 8, 1949)

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The Great Dan Patch
 

Released on November 8, 1949: The greatest trotting horse in history is owned by a man with two women in his life and he may not have the horse sense to choose the right one.

Produced by John Taintor Foote

Directed by Joseph M. Newman

The Actors: Dennis O'Keefe (David Palmer), Gail Russell (Cissy Lathrop), Ruth Warrick (Ruth Treadwell), Charlotte Greenwood (Aunt Netty), Henry Hull (Dan Palmer), John Hoyt (Ben Lathrop), Arthur Hunnicutt (Chet Williams), Clarence Muse (Voodoo), Harry Lauter (Bud Ransome), Stanley Blystone (work crew foreman Chris), Everett Brown (stablehand), Bill Cartledge (telegram boy), Jack Cheatham (Minnesota State Fair racing official), Earle Hodgins (driver), Ralph Montgomery (driver), Davis Roberts (smiler), Douglas Spencer (Boswell County Fair racing official), Forrest Taylor (Lexington racing official)

 

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Horse Sense and the Fillies

Until automobiles became common in the late 1920's and forward, good horses were the best assets of every home. My father was a farm teen during those years and told me that he rode his horse to high school in Canfield, Ohio every day and his horse spent the school day in the school stables next to the school alongside the horses of the other pupils. The farm he was raised on was run by his father and his Uncle John, and the farm had apple and peach orchards along with the horses, chickens, pigs and other small animals. In the winter when they couldn't sell fruit or vegetables they dug into a hill and mined coal to sell in town to heat the homes and businesses. Unfortunately the farm was taken from them and became part of the Mahoning Valley reservoir that provides potable water to the region to this day. The Fillies in this family farm saga are Gail Russell and Ruth Warrick, who both have eyes for Dennis O'Keefe . . . but the horse with the best sense is the great trotting horse Dan Patch . . . During the first decade of the twentieth century in the U.S. this trotting horse made nationwide front page news every time he raced, and holds speed records that have yet to be broken. Dennis O'Keefe is David Palmer, son of the owner of Dan Patch who leaves the farm to become a big city chemist. Ruth Warrick is the school teacher who marries David. Ruth wants to be the best known society girl in the big city, and David Palmer is the man she will ride hard to get her there. Gail Russell is a farm girl who raises and trains the horses that rule the pre-automobile world. Cute as a button but too shy to make her affection for David known, we are all immediately rooting for David to hook up with the pretty farm girl instead of the society girl, but David doesn't have horse sense. Most times when my dad saw someone doing something really stupid he would remark that the fellow didn't have horse sense . . . any good horse knows the way home whether led that way or not, but some people can't tell where their 'home' really is. Will David ever get 'horse sense' and discover where his home really is, and learn which woman is the right one to share that home with? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

Arthur Hunnicutt and Dennis O'Keefe
Arthur Hunnicutt and Dennis O'Keefe
Charles Muse
Charles Muse
Charles Muse
Charles Muse
Charles Muse
Charles Muse
Charlotte Greenwood and Arthur Hunnicutt
Charlotte Greenwood and Arthur Hunnicutt
Charlotte Greenwood
Charlotte Greenwood
Dennis O'Keefe and Henry Hull
Dennis O'Keefe and Henry Hull
Dennis O'Keefe and Charlotte Greenwood
Dennis O'Keefe and Charlotte Greenwood
Dennis O'Keefe and John Hoyt
Dennis O'Keefe and John Hoyt
Dennis O'Keefe
Dennis O'Keefe
Gail Russell and John Hoyt
Gail Russell and John Hoyt
Gail Russell
Gail Russell
Gail Russell
Gail Russell
Harry Lauter and Gail Russell
Harry Lauter and Gail Russell
Henry Hull and John Hoyt
Henry Hull and John Hoyt
Henry Hull
Henry Hull
Jack Cheatham
Jack Cheatham
John Hoyt and Gail Russell
John Hoyt and Gail Russell
Ruth Warrick
Ruth Warrick
Ruth Warrick and Dennis O'Keefe
Ruth Warrick and Dennis O'Keefe
Ruth Warrick and Dennis O'Keefe
Ruth Warrick and Dennis O'Keefe
Ruth Warrick
Ruth Warrick