The Great Dan Patch

Watch The Great Dan Patch

  • Passed
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 5.8  (247)

The Great Dan Patch from 1949 is a classic horse racing movie that follows the rise of a legendary stallion named Dan Patch. Starring Dennis O'Keefe as Dan's owner and trainer, the film tells the true story of the famous trotter's record-breaking career and the people who helped make him a star. With stunning footage of actual harness racing and a heartwarming storyline, The Great Dan Patch is a must-see for fans of equestrian sports and feel-good films.

At the beginning of the movie, we meet Dan Patch as a young colt, born with a twisted leg that threatens to end his life before it's even begun. But his owner, Dan's trainer and breeder David Palmer (Dennis O'Keefe), refuses to give up on him, pouring all his time and money into rehabilitating the young horse. With the help of his wife Ruth (Ruth Warrick) and his loyal stable hand Wobbles (Henry Hull), David manages to nurse Dan Patch back to health, and before long the little colt is running circles around his barnmates.

As Dan grows older, David starts to realize that he has something special on his hands. The horse's natural speed and agility are unmatched, and David begins to train him for harness racing, where horses pull heavy carts around a track at high speeds. At first, Dan struggles to find his footing, but with David's expert guidance and Ruth's unwavering support, he begins to rack up win after win, breaking records and capturing the hearts of fans nationwide.

But success brings its own set of challenges. David and Ruth's marriage starts to strain under the weight of their demanding lifestyle, and David finds himself butting heads with wealthy businessman JJ Donnelly (John Hoyt), who wants to buy Dan Patch from him at any cost. When tragedy strikes the Palmer family, David is forced to make a difficult choice - sell his beloved horse and retire in comfort, or keep Dan and risk everything he's worked for.

Throughout it all, The Great Dan Patch never loses sight of the incredible story at its core. The film's race scenes are thrilling to watch, with Dan Patch streaking around the track at breakneck speeds while crowds roar in approval. But it's the human moments that really make the movie stand out - the quiet scenes between David and Ruth as they struggle to keep their family together, the steadfast loyalty of Wobbles as he stands by David through thick and thin. Even the supporting characters, like Donnelly's scheming secretary Sally (Gail Russell), are given nuance and depth, making the movie feel like a true ensemble piece.

Despite its age, The Great Dan Patch remains a stirring tribute to one of the most famous horses in American history. Directed by Joseph M. Newman (This Island Earth, The Day the Earth Stood Still), the film has a timeless quality that makes it just as enjoyable today as it was seven decades ago. And with a cast of talented actors led by O'Keefe, Russell, and Warrick, it's easy to see why the movie was so beloved by audiences and critics alike.

In the end, The Great Dan Patch is a movie that will leave you feeling inspired and uplifted. Whether you're a fan of horse racing or just looking for a heartwarming tale of perseverance and triumph, this classic film is one that's sure to stay with you long after the credits roll.

The Great Dan Patch is a 1949 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.

The Great Dan Patch
Where to Watch The Great Dan Patch
The Great Dan Patch is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, FlixFling, The Roku Channel and MGM+. Some platforms allow you to rent The Great Dan Patch for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (247)