30 July 2018 | MartinHafer
My lovely horse
"The Great Dan Patch" is not the sort of film I would normally watch. While some people absolutely adore horses and movies about them, I really don't care much for them one way or the other. I mostly watched it because I like Dennis O'Keefe and he stars in this one.
I had never heard of Dan Patch and didn't realize what an amazing horse he was. Apparently, he had the distinction of being an unbeaten horse in trotting races....something that seems impossible. He was so dominant that after a while they couldn't get horses to race against him! This movie is a biography which plays a bit fast and loose with the facts....with about as much truth as Hollywood in the story. So, if you only want the full and true story, read up on Dan Patch...don't watch the movie!
The story is essentially about the horse but told much more about the horse's owner and the owner's son, David (O'Keefe). Most of the story centers not on Patch's life and career but on David's marriage to an ornery woman (Ruth Warrick)...and another woman (Gail Russell) who secretly loved him. In support are some excellent actors--Henry Hull, John Hoyt and Clarence Muse.
So is it any good? Well, it is entertaining and the acting is nice....but it IS about horses. So, if you love 'em, see the film. If you're more ambivalent (like me), it's pretty skippable.