Racing Lady


59m 1937
Racing Lady

Brief Synopsis

A millionaire hires a lady trainer for his stables.

Film Details

Also Known As
All Scarlet
Genre
Sports
Release Date
Jan 29, 1937
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jan 1937
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Film Length
6 reels

Synopsis

Coaxed by his daughter Ruth, Tom Martin, a former world-class racehorse breeder and trainer, agrees to enter his mare Pepper Mary in a Southern California county fair race. Because Pepper Mary is the betting favorite, the trainer of rival horse Vindictive tries unsuccessfully to bribe Tom to throw the race. During the race, the jockey of Vindictive deliberately slams into Pepper Mary and causes her and her black jockey Johnny to fall. Pepper Mary suffers a career-ending injury, but Ruth dedicates herself to training Pepper Mary's filly Katydid and soon develops her into a fine racer. As Ruth prepares Katydid for her first official race, she attracts the attention of Steve Wendel, an automobile manufacturer and the owner of a prestigious stable. Assured by Gilbert, his press agent, that Ruth's status as America's only woman horse trainer will boost his automobile sales, Steve asks Ruth to join his horse training staff. Ruth turns him down, stating that the only horse she wants to train is Katydid, and enters her horse in a "claiming" race at Santa Anita. Although Katydid wins handily, Steve "claims" Katydid and refuses to sell her back to Ruth. Trapped, Ruth agrees to join Steve's stable staff, whose motto is "a winner or nothing," and soon makes the rounds of the racing circuit in America and Europe. After her successful tour, Ruth, who has fallen in love with Steve, returns to California a sophisticated young woman. When Ruth tells Tom that she is considering scratching Katydid from a big Santa Anita race because she doubts whether the horse will win, Tom lectures her on the value of sportsmanship. Humbled by her father's words, Ruth argues with Steve to keep Katydid in the race, but he refuses. The next day, Ruth discovers Katydid missing and accuses Steve of stealing her to keep her out of the race. Just before the race, Brass, Ruth's stable helper, telephones her with information regarding Katydid's whereabouts, and Ruth retrieves the horse in time to compete. After Katydid wins, Ruth learns that another, envious Wendel trainer had kidnapped Katydid and that it was Steve who had telephoned Brass. Vindicated, Steve embraces Ruth.

Film Details

Also Known As
All Scarlet
Genre
Sports
Release Date
Jan 29, 1937
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jan 1937
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Film Length
6 reels

Articles

Racing Lady -


Years before Damon Runyon's stories helped make Guys and Dolls a huge hit on stage and screen, RKO combined his story "All Scarlet" with another by J. Robert Bren and Norman Houston, "Odds Are Even," for this fast-moving racetrack tale. The supporting cast is filled with Runyonesque eccentrics like small-time trainer Tom Martin (Harry Carey) and his two racing buddies, Judge (Berton Churchill) and Warbler (Ray Mayer). But the main focus is on Carey's daughter, Ruth, played by Ann Dvorak, one of the least appreciated, most unfairly neglected actresses of the '30s. Dvorak had made a big splash as Paul Muni's sister in Scarface (1932), leading to a Warner Bros. contract, but her constant quarrels with them over script selection and inequitable pay led to her spending most of her time there on suspension. After a year off the screen, she was loaned to RKO for this and another film, giving her the chance to play the spirited lady trainer out to revive her father's business and take on a man's world. Although the film was made on a low budget, with newsreel footage taking the place of actual location work at the story's Santa Ana settings, her performance helps keep the whole thing afloat.

By Frank Miller
Racing Lady -

Racing Lady -

Years before Damon Runyon's stories helped make Guys and Dolls a huge hit on stage and screen, RKO combined his story "All Scarlet" with another by J. Robert Bren and Norman Houston, "Odds Are Even," for this fast-moving racetrack tale. The supporting cast is filled with Runyonesque eccentrics like small-time trainer Tom Martin (Harry Carey) and his two racing buddies, Judge (Berton Churchill) and Warbler (Ray Mayer). But the main focus is on Carey's daughter, Ruth, played by Ann Dvorak, one of the least appreciated, most unfairly neglected actresses of the '30s. Dvorak had made a big splash as Paul Muni's sister in Scarface (1932), leading to a Warner Bros. contract, but her constant quarrels with them over script selection and inequitable pay led to her spending most of her time there on suspension. After a year off the screen, she was loaned to RKO for this and another film, giving her the chance to play the spirited lady trainer out to revive her father's business and take on a man's world. Although the film was made on a low budget, with newsreel footage taking the place of actual location work at the story's Santa Ana settings, her performance helps keep the whole thing afloat. By Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was All Scarlet, which also was the title of Damon Runyon's unpublished story. J. Robert Bren and Norman Houston's original screen story was titled "Odds Are Even." RKO borrowed Ann Dvorak from Warner Bros. for this production.