The Rocking Horse Winner

  • 1949
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This faithful adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence story is both moving and disturbing as Davies, who was a superb "Oliver Twist" under David Lean's direction, turns in a stunning performance as a boy in the grip of a deadly fantasy. Davies is a little boy whose greedy mother Hobson upsets his tender sensibilities; she is always complaining about her finances,...read more

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This faithful adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence story is both moving and disturbing as Davies, who was a superb "Oliver Twist" under David Lean's direction, turns in a stunning performance as a boy in the grip of a deadly fantasy. Davies is a little boy whose greedy mother Hobson upsets

his tender sensibilities; she is always complaining about her finances, although the family is fairly well-to-do. Davies receives a new and strange-looking hobby horse for Christmas and handyman Mills teaches him how to ride like a jockey. The boy discovers that when he rides the wooden horse at a

furious pace he can somehow pick the winners of real horse races that have yet to be run. Bets are placed and the family starts to enjoy enormous riches, but Hobson, a profligate spender, squanders the money faster than bets can be placed, causing Davies to ride faster and faster, driving himself

into a frenetic and traumatic state which produces more and more money. Still he cannot appease his mother's insatiable appetite for money and rides the horse one more time, driving himself into a delirious state to obtain the name of just one more winner, the house itself crying out to him: "We

need more money!" He picks a winner but dies in the effort. After Davies is buried, handyman Mills, the only real friend the child ever had, takes the money won on the derby and gives it to Hobson who draws back from it, telling him to take the "blood money" away and burn it, her lesson in greed

learned too late to save her selfless child. This offbeat story isn't for everyone, certainly not for children, but it conveys a powerful message in a beautifully crafted film with excellent performances by Mills, Hobson, and Squire supporting the brilliant Davies.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This faithful adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence story is both moving and disturbing as Davies, who was a superb "Oliver Twist" under David Lean's direction, turns in a stunning performance as a boy in the grip of a deadly fantasy. Davies is a little boy whos… (more)

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