Salty O'Rourke


1h 37m 1945

Brief Synopsis

Salty owes money to Doc Baxter; he and his pal Smitty have one month to pay up. They get a race horse and a disbarred jockey, Johnny Cates, who must fake his identity to race. Johnny and Salty both fall in love with Barbara Brooks and, to get even, Johnny considers throwing the horserace.

Film Details

Release Date
May 4, 1945
Premiere Information
Arizona opening: 22 Mar 1945; New York opening: 25 April 1945
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,982ft

Synopsis

In New Orleans, racetrack gambler Salty O'Rourke gets into trouble with gangster Doc Baxter, "the Bookmaker," when Salty's partner runs off with Baxter's $20,000 and is consequently murdered. Baxter gives Salty thirty days to come up with the money. Salty hocks his expensive cufflinks and buys a hot-tempered horse named "Whipper," with plans to win the Delington Handicap in California. Salty recruits twenty-one-year-old Johnny Cate, who is hiding out in Mexico after being banned from racing for fixing a race. Posing as his seventeen-year-old brother Timothy, Johnny arrives with Salty and his trainer, Smitty, in Delington, where Johnny is forced to attend jockey school. The beautiful young teacher, Barbara Brooks, expels Johnny immediately for his "fresh" mouth and insolence, but Salty gets him back in school by befriending Barbara and her mother. Although Johnny becomes infatuated with Barbara, she falls in love with Salty, who is only interested in winning the race. At Salty's request, Barbara invites Johnny to her house for individual tutoring and tries to reform him. She then chooses Johnny as her escort for the jockey ball the night before the race, and at the ball, Johnny proposes to her. She gently turns him down in favor of Salty, and Johnny vows revenge against him. Barbara accuses Salty of using her and tearfully confesses her love to him, causing Salty to take notice of her for the first time. Meanwhile, Baxter, who has arrived in town, makes a deal with Johnny to double-cross Salty. At the track the next day, Smitty's friend Tony tells him that he saw Johnny and Baxter together at the steambaths, and Salty confronts Johnny, appealing to his better side. Salty confesses his love to Barbara before the race, but tells her to say good-bye, as he will be running from Baxter following the race. Johnny has a change of heart halfway through the race, and Whipper wins. Baxter's henchman shoots Johnny dead in the racetrack's parking lot. Before confronting Baxter, Salty drops off Barbara, who steals his gun. In Baxter's office, Salty knocks out the light, and because Baxter and his henchman inadvertently shoot each other, Salty avoids a murder charge. Later, as Smitty drives Barbara and Salty out of town, she returns his gun, which he discards, then kisses her.

Film Details

Release Date
May 4, 1945
Premiere Information
Arizona opening: 22 Mar 1945; New York opening: 25 April 1945
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,982ft

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1946

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). Alan Ladd reprised his role in a November 26, 1945 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast, co-starring William Demarest.