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Thoroughbreds Don't Cry

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Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
Thoroughbreds Don
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlfred E. Green
Written byEleanore Griffin (story)
J. Walter Ruben (story)
Lawrence Hazard
Dalton Trumbo (uncredited)
Harold Gould (uncredited)
Produced byHarry Rapf
StarringRonald Sinclair
Judy Garland
Mickey Rooney
C. Aubrey Smith
Sophie Tucker
CinematographyLeonard Smith
Edited byElmo Veron
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
December 3, 1937 (1937-12-03)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$731,000[1]

Thoroughbreds Don't Cry is a 1937 American musical comedy film directed by Alfred E. Green and starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in their first film together.


Cricket West is a hopeful actress with a pair of vocal cords that bring down the house. Her eccentric aunt runs a boarding house for the local jockeys, whose leader is the cocky but highly skilled Timmie Donovan, famous for his daring come-from-behind wins in the stretch. Into their lives comes Sir Peter Calverton and his young grandson Roger Calverton, who are titled but cash poor with only one asset, a prize-winning stakes horse called The Pookah.

Donovan's the best there is at his profession, but he is fatally compromised because his no-good gambler of a father, Charles D. Brown, pretending he is at death's door, extorts a pledge from Donovan to throw the prep race The Pookah is running in, in order to obtain cash for a "cure". Donovan does it but then is warned by the stewards that they're suspicious of his actions.

When The Pookah lost the race, the stress was too much for Sir Peter, and he died of a heart attack. Roger hasn't the money to enter The Pookah in The Cup, and is planning to sell him. But Cricket tracks down Donovan he has an attack of conscience and snatches the entrance fee from his conniving father. Roger wins the American Cup and Donovan's father is arrested.



Following the sensational audience reaction to Judy Garland singing "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)" to a picture of Clark Gable in Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), Garland was rushed into shooting two films back to back, this and the more musically elaborate Everybody Sing, which was held for later release in 1938.[2]

This was the first film to team Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown wrote two songs for Garland, but only one, "Got A Pair of New Shoes", made it into the final film.[2] "Sun Showers" was also recorded by Garland, which still survives today.[3]

Ronald Sinclair substitutes for Freddie Bartholomew, for whom this role was originally intended, but whose voice had changed, according to accounts later told by Judy Garland. The chemistry between Mickey and Judy was readily apparent in this film and MGM would team them several more times until Words and Music in 1948. The film features a cameo appearance from Frankie Darro as Dink Reid.

Box office

According to MGM records the film earned $426,000 in the US and Canada and $305,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $29,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ a b Hirschhorn, Clive (1991) [1981]. The Hollywood Musical (2nd ed.). New York: Portland House. p. 139. ISBN 0-517-06035-3.
  3. ^ "Sun Showers" (outtake from film) on YouTube
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Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
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