The Rocking Horse Winner (1949), Directed by Anthony Pelissier
The Rocking Horse Winner is an adaptation of the short story by the same title by D. H. Lawrence. I was not at all familiar with the film or the story, and simply ran across this at the library. I’m going to give it high marks. It would not make the top ten best movies of all time, but it was very well done and a delightful watch. The cinematography and the score were just wonderful as well, especially during the fantasy sequences.
The story is about an upper class family that lives beyond its financial means, but focuses specifically upon the mother, Hester, who is driving the family into debt with her lavish lifestyle, and Paul, their good-natured and loving young son. After receiving a wooden rocking horse as a gift, Paul accidentally discovers that he can predict winners in the horse races by riding the horse furiously.
Paul convinces the gardener to help him place money on the horses, and as his fortune grows, he and his uncle (whom Paul is later to confide in), hatch a plan to give the money to his mother without her knowing the source. But having more money only encourages his mother to spend more and more of it, until one night Paul’s mother has her own kind of premonition.
Spoiler Alert: This is the only clip I can find, and it kind of gives away the ending. Watch just half of it if you want to get a feel for what the movie is like.