7.2/10
858
20 user 11 critic

The Dark Horse (1932)

Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.

Director:

Alfred E. Green
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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:

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

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
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: Yes sir, Governor. I can see that you have no false pride. You're a true democrat.
Zachary Hicks: Well, thank you.
Hal Samson Blake: You have simple, innate dignity. That's what I like.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Sung in Prison and at the debate with new election lyrics
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User Reviews

 
Too Stupid To Steal
2 December 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of the reasons that I decided to watch this film today when it was broadcast was the splendid cast. The Dark Horse anticipates what Preston Sturges did with The Great McGinty and it's quite a commentary on what occasionally gets elected now and then due to astute political management and the gullibility of the voting public.

Looking down the cast list nearly everyone in it is cast in roles I've come to expect to see them play. The title role in The Dark Horse is played by Guy Kibbee as he's nominated by one of the parties because they're deadlocked at the convention between better candidates. Kibbee is absolutely priceless as the dumber than a post county coroner the party has as its candidate. Well they've got him and the only way to put him over is get the best campaign manager around even if he's in the slam.

Which is where Warren William is even if its for owing back alimony to ex-wife Vivienne Osborne. William takes his Dave the Dude character from Lady For A Day and proceeds to make Kibbee the favorite in the race for governor. Kibbee's very dumbness is programmed to work in his favor, his slogan could have been elect Kibbee, he's too stupid to steal.

The opposition candidate is Berton Churchill playing another one of his patented pompous windbags. The prospect of seeing Kibbee in a race against Churchill is what really attracted me to this film and I was not disappointed. Churchill and his party may be down, but not out and they've got some tricks up their sleeve. And those tricks involve Kibbee and Osborne.

The only one who is wasted really is Bette Davis. She plays Warren William's loyal and efficient secretary who loves him. She does her best with a traditional good girl role, but there isn't much for her to work with. Vivienne Osborne gives the ex-wife part the kind of bite we normally find in Bette Davis films later on.

The Dark Horse is a really crackerjack political film that deserves to be better known.


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