6.9/10
893
20 user 12 critic

The Dark Horse (1932)

Passed | | Comedy | 16 June 1932 (USA)
Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.

Director:

Alfred E. Green
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A socialite gets a divorce but can't keep out of her ex-husband's life.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... Hal Samson Blake
Bette Davis ... Kay Russell
Guy Kibbee ... Zachary Hicks
Vivienne Osborne ... Maybelle Blake, Hal's ex-wife
Frank McHugh ... Joe
Sam Hardy ... Mr. Black
Harry Holman ... Mr. Jones
Charles Sellon ... Mr. Green
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Sheriff (as Robert E. O'Connor)
Berton Churchill ... William A. Underwood
Robert Warwick ... Mr. Clark
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Storyline

Zachary Hicks is nominated at the Progressive party's convention even though he has little chance of winning the governorship. Kay suggests the party bosses hire Hal Blake (whom she loves) as campaign manager. Hal is in jail for falling behind in his alimony payments to Maybelle, but Kay convinces the politicians to seem him in prison, Impressed with the speech they hear him deliver to a cellmate, the committee pays Hal's fine and back alimony payments. Hal takes on the campaign and several marital arrangements. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Czarny rumak See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Abraham Lincoln speech referred to in this movie wasn't a speech at all, but a published letter from Lincoln. It was his first announcement of running for political office. He was just 23 years old at the time and was a newcomer to Illinois - having moved there in 1830. He was running for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. The letter was printed March 9, 1832, in the Sangamo Journal of Springfield, IL. The letter is lengthy and describes Lincoln's views on public improvements, navigation of the Sangamon River, and education.

The words, supposedly plagiarized in this movie from a Lincoln speech, were at the end of the last paragraph in his long letter. They read, "I am young and unknown to many of you. I was born and have ever remained in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of this county, and if elected they will have conferred a favor upon me, for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the back ground, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined." The letter was signed, "Your friend and fellow-citizen, A. Lincoln, New Salem, March 9, 1832. See more »

Quotes

Hal Samson Blake: We're going to make him even dumber than he is.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(uncredited)
Music by Theodore A. Metz
Played at the convention
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User Reviews

 
Maybe yes, but then again, maybe no
8 September 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Guy Kibbee is Zachary Hicks, "The Dark Horse" for a governor's race in this 1932 film starring Warren William, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh and Vivian Osbourne. In order to break the convention deadlock, the Progressive party nominates a sure loser, Zachary Hicks, for governor. Secretary Davis, a plant in the political bosses' offices, urges them to hire her boyfriend, Hal Samson Blake (William) as Hicks' campaign manager. At the moment, he's in jail for back alimony, but the bosses are stirred by a speech Hal gives the prisoners. A subplot, which enters the main plot eventually, is in fact this very alimony, which Hal's ex (Osbourne) is determined to collect from him. Her anger with him causes her to interfere with the governor's race.

This is a very amusing movie and of course, we've seen bumbling politicians throughout film history - "Thanks a Million," "The Great Man Votes," "The Senator was Indiscreet" (my favorite) etc. ad infinitum. The reason they're always funny is that nothing has changed, so these films always strike a chord. This movie has special interest because of the presence of a very young, very pretty Bette Davis and also because it's pre-Code. There's a lot of rather obvious suggestiveness in it that I suppose would have caused objection.

I have to confess an undying love for Warren William, who is, as always, relaxed, funny and marvelous as a wheeler dealer who can get anybody elected to anything. He was sort of a poor man's Barrymore in these roles. I would have loved to have seen Barrymore do this part as well. Davis in an early ingénue role is good, but it's before anyone knew what to do with her. A million actresses could have played her part, but how many actresses could have done what she did in Of Human Bondage? Guy Kibbee is a perfect idiot nominee with bad feet and an eye for the ladies, and Frank McHugh is on hand to give his usual excellent support.

Lighthearted fun and recommended as a reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same.


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