Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Sporting Blood (1940)

SPORTING BLOOD is the story of Myles Vanders (Robert Young), a Virginia racehorse owner whose family has a longstanding feud with Davis Lockwood (Lewis Stone).

Myles romances Lockwood's fickle daughter Joan (Lynne Carver) but ultimately enters into a marriage of convenience with her sister Linda (Maureen O'Sullivan), who loves Myles although she's aware he doesn't love her. The film then follows Myles' attempts to restore the old family homestead to prominence as a successful racehorse farm, while Linda hopes for a successful marriage.

SPORTING BLOOD reteamed Young and O'Sullivan, who previously appeared together in WEST POINT OF THE AIR (1935) and THE EMPEROR'S CANDLESTICKS (1937). They are attractive leads, although Young's character isn't always completely admirable. O'Sullivan is lovely as the girl who sees beyond the surface of Myles' anger to the man underneath. It's a fairly leisurely film, but the cast provides good company for 82 minutes.

Lynne Carver was a beautiful young actress whose career never really took off to the top level. Many viewers, however, will remember her as the charming Bess, who loves Scrooge's nephew Fred in the 1938 MGM version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

The supporting cast includes William Gargan, Clarence Muse, Lloyd Corrigan, and Tom Kennedy.

The movie was directed by S. Sylvan Simon. It was shot in black and white. The musical score is by Franz Waxman.

A 1931 Clark Gable film was also titled SPORTING BLOOD, but there is no relationship between the two films other than being set in the world of horse racing.

Parental advisory: There is a barn fire which is short but disturbing for animal lovers. Younger viewers may need a word of explanation about outdated racial attitudes briefly but noticeably expressed in the film.

SPORTING BLOOD has not had a DVD or video release but is part of the library at Turner Classic Movies.

The trailer can be seen here.


Blogger Unknown said...

Anyone know what racetracks were used in filming this movie ? This was an unexpected treat , as I’d never heard of this film and I’m a fan of old racing movies

5:02 PM  

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