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The Great Dan Patch
The Great Dan Patch
Actor: Dennis O'Keefe; Gail Russell
Director: Joseph Newman
2002     1hr 35min


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Movie Details

Actor: Dennis O'Keefe; Gail Russell
Director: Joseph Newman
Studio: Miracle Productions
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 02/02/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0

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Movie Reviews

Getting sentimental in my young old age
A Constant Reader | New York City, NY | 08/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This may not be a great movie, and it may not be played by great actors, but it's an affecting bit of work and I sat there through every second of it in thoroughly sappy enjoyment. I love feel good stories. I love watching a man or a woman or a horse doing something so well we're all bigger just have to seen it. Dan Patch is not a forgotten "sulkie horse" - he was and is the greatest pacer who ever set hoof on a track. Like Man 'O War, when Dan Patch entered a race, the rest of the field scratched. Before long he could only race against the clock and in order to do that they sent out runners with him so he'd feel he had competition. Pacing, he easily kept up with a flat out runner. Dan has a website visited by thousands, a day to honor him every year in what became his home town, and still holds the record for the fastest mile ever paced. When he died, his owner was so affected he himself died the next week. True story. As for the rest of the movie, the love story, the old folks on the farm, the trainer, the breeder, the fellow who got rich but still came back to the farm...I have no idea if any of it was "true," but it too was affecting. Oh heck. I loved this old movie."
Ronald Stephenson | 07/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE GREAT DAN PATCH is a marvelous film for the whole family. Woefully ignored upon original release in 1949, this film has gained a cult following through the years. Dennis O'Keefe and Gail Russell head the cast and have a loving chemistry together. Gail gives one of her most captivating performances as a quiet farm girl who loves horses and Dennis O'Keefe. The racing scenes are exciting and it has a especially fine musical score. Released by United Artists and also starring Ruth Warwick and Charlotte Greenwood, THE GREAT DAN PATCH is a special film well worth owning on DVD."
"Slopping hogs & pitching manure is more your style..."
Dave | Tennessee United States | 11/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This 1949 movie is based on the true story of the legendary race horse Dan Patch, who in eleven years of racing remained undefeated. "Great Dan Patch" is certainly no masterpiece, but it's nevertheless an enjoyable movie with a great cast. Arthur Hunnicutt, whom you'll recognize from "The Red Badge of Courage", adds a lot here in a suporting role. Chemist David Palmer (Dennis O'Keefe) has just married a snobby socialite, Ruth Treadwell (Ruth Warrick), and is also the owner of race horses. When he purchases Dan Patch he knows he's gotten a very special horse, and the trainer Ben Lathrop (John Hoyt), along with his daughter Cissy (Gail Russell), takes good care of Dan Patch. Cissy has had a crush on David for a long time, but his marriage to Ruth has crushed her hopes.

Finally, David realizes that he can no longer tolerate his obnoxious wife, and he leaves her and heads for the lovely Cissy. Meanwhile, David sales Dan Patch for $60,000 and the horse becomes a major success touring the country. Of course the story of Dan Patch is in the background throughout the film as the main focus is on Cissy's love for David, but that was okay with me. I never was a fan of horse racing anyway! The reason I purchased this dvd was because I'm a big fan of beautiful Gail Russell, who unfortunately died on August 26, 1961, from an alcohol induced heart attack. She was only 36 years old and had appeared in only 23 films, yet she left behind a legacy of exceptional performances.

This dvd from Alpha has an acceptable picture and sound quality, considering that the print used is the public domain unrestored version. All things considered, this movie is well-worth watching and is recommended for any fan of Gail Russell or Dennis O'Keefe."
A Standardbred Version Of The Biscuit
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 02/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There was a time when Hollywood had a fascination of telling a story by featuring outstanding equine athletes. This 1949 release is a fictionalized account of the life of one of the greatest Standardbred racers of all time, Dan Patch.

Dan Patch, 1896-1916, was a racing sensation, breaking world speed records at least 14 times. The pinnacle achievement was in 1906, blazing a one-mile time trial in 1-minute, 55-seconds, a record that was matched several times, but not broken until 1960. He was a sports celebrity, having endorsement deals for toys, cigars, washing machines and cars.

And, like Thoroughbred legend, Seabiscuit, Dan Patch was not viewed early in his career as an emerging superstar. After one season of showing little promise, a local trainer (Oxford, Indiana), Johnny Wattles, began the slow process of uncovering the vast potential in this misunderstood pacer.

The script strides away from the interesting true story into the typical track for the time period; a love story surrounding people who have the best interest of the racer in mind.

Dan Patch's owner, chemist David Palmer (Dennis O'Keefe), has a spouse (Ruth Warrick) who cares very little about horses. The friction caused by her strong feelings eventually leads Palmer to Cissy Lathrop (Gail Russell), the daughter of trainer (John Hoyt).

Actor, songwriter and attorney, Dr. Clarence Muse, a 1973 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame inductee, is vastly underrated in his role of making the team click around Dan Patch.

Even taking into account the many fictionalized scenes within this story, The Great Dan Patch keeps it all together through a performer who cannot read a single line or croon songs."