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The Rocking Horse Winner [DVD]
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First time on DVD!! Rocking Horse Winner is a dark, atmospheric and complex psychological British drama, adapted from DH Lawrence's story about Paul, a young boy (a 10 year-old John Howard Davies) who receives a rocking horse for Christmas and soon learns that he is able to pick the winning horse at the races - to the delight of his spendthrift mother (Valerie Hobson) and his hopeless gambler of a father (Hugh Sinclair) Young Paul teams up with Bassett the servant (John Mills), with the two of them forming a profitable partnership - yet the house continually whispers to Paul that it needs more money, with this need exacting a high price.
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Top Customer Reviews
The "Rocking Horse Winner" is not particularly well-known, and it definitely deserves a larger audience. The film is highly enjoyable and unpredictable, with some unexpected eerie and sinister elements. The acting is generally good and somewhat larger than life, although Valerie Hobson portrays the mother in perhaps too unsympathetic a light. A highlight of the film is the demonic rocking horse that the boy receives for Christmas; the scenes with the boy riding it into a frenzy are frighteningly unforgettable, and perhaps more than a bit oedipal in nature. The DVD transfer is quite good, although no subtitles have been recorded - a shame considering the sometimes thick accents of some of the actors. Overall, the "Rocking Horse Winner" is a champion - an unusual, small British film that should be much better known.
Extras: Three different versions of "Rocking Horse Winner" are included.Read more ›
Dreadful, Evil Money.
There's a handful of British films from the 1940s that deserve to be far better known, films that blended haunted themes with film noir traits and visual smarts. The Night Has Eyes, Uncle Silas, Corridor Of Mirrors and the magnificent Queen Of Spades readily come to mind. Now it has an official DVD release, we can add Anthony Pelissier's brilliant The Rocking Horse Winner to the obscure gem list.
Story has young Paul Grahame (Davies) receiving a weird looking Rocking Horse for Christmas. He's an introverted and sensitive lad, seemingly reaching out for some sort of guidance from his parents. Unfortunately his mother, Hester (Hobson), is a spendthrift badly hung up on money as some sort of status symbol, while his father, Richard (Sinclair), is a gambler, and not a good one at that. With Uncle Oscar Creswell (Squire) bailing them out of financial trouble for the last time, the Grahame family are heading for bankruptcy unless income can be found. Befriending the new handyman, Bassett (Mills), Paul is delighted to find that Bassett is an ex-jockey and regales him with tails of horse racing, he even learns from Bassett how to ride his Rocking Horse like a real jockey. Then something magical happens, Paul seems to be able to predict the winners of real horse races, and the money starts to roll in...
D. H. Lawrence's story gets a faithful adaptation and transfers quite excellently to the screen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having read the book, many moons ago now, it was good to see the film adaptation.Published 12 months ago by Julie Vanberkel
First saw this in the 1960s on TV and had forgotten just how scary John Howard Davies's performance was. Read morePublished 20 months ago by David Livingston
This is such a good film considering its a b movie its quite scary and very well actedPublished 20 months ago by miss rachel price
this film is excellant good cast good story line they dont make films like this nowPublished on 12 April 2015 by digger