Inspired by the short story “Ruidoso,” penned by writer John McPhee, this film tells the story of down-and-out horse trainer Lloyd Bourdelle (Walter Matthau), who, against all odds, becomes the owner of a winning horse. His three sons help him care for the animal, whom Lloyd is entering in a blue-ribbon race. But first, they must protect the colt from the jealous few who either want to profit from him or stop him from becoming champion.
American film director Martin Ritt started out as a Broadway actor. Ritt’s stage role as “Gleason” in Winged Victory brought him to Hollywood for the film version, for which the studio publicity billed him, along with the rest of the male cast, by the rank he held in the Army (Private First Class Martin Ritt). A victim of the Hollywood blacklist, Ritt’s career came to a standstill in the early 1950s. He reemerged, not as an actor, but as a director for the 1956 film Edge of the City. A favorite of actor Paul Newman, Ritt directed Newman in The Long Hot Summer (1958), Paris Blues (1961), Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man (1962), Hud (1963), The Outrage (1964) and Hombre (1967). Other Ritt-directed films of note were Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972), Cross Creek (1984), Murphy’s Romance (1985), and, his last film, Stanley and Iris (1990). If there doesn’t seem to be a central throughline in these films it was because Ritt steadfastly refused to be typecast as a director. One project that brought… read more