My Brother Talks to Horses

Overview

In later years, director Fred Zinneman seldom referred to My Brother Talks to Horses as one of his career highpoints. Even so, this leisurely period comedy has its moments, most of them delivered by precocious Jackie "Butch" Jenkins as the title character. Living with his family in Baltimore, 9-year-old Lewie Penrose (Jenkins) claims that he can converse with horses-and also pick the winners of upcoming races. When it appears as though Lewie is telling the truth, he attracts the interest of gambler Rich Roeder ...
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Overview

In later years, director Fred Zinneman seldom referred to My Brother Talks to Horses as one of his career highpoints. Even so, this leisurely period comedy has its moments, most of them delivered by precocious Jackie "Butch" Jenkins as the title character. Living with his family in Baltimore, 9-year-old Lewie Penrose (Jenkins) claims that he can converse with horses-and also pick the winners of upcoming races. When it appears as though Lewie is telling the truth, he attracts the interest of gambler Rich Roeder (Charles Ruggles), who needs a "sure thing" in the upcoming Preakness. Meanwhile, Lewie's older brother John (Peter Lawford) carries on a romance with the lovely Martha (Beverly Tyler). An unexpected tragedy slows down the film in the home stretch, but otherwise My Brother Talks to Horses is a pleasant second-echelon MGM production.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A bit muddled, My Brother Talks to Horses is nonetheless a moderately entertaining little film and will be especially well received by children, who will delight in the film's titular premise. Brother would be a stronger film if it had constrained its story to that promised by the title, a fantasy tale about a child who has the gift of gabbing with nags. Unfortunately, the powers that be at some point decided that more was needed, and so the film is saddled with an unconvincing and unrewarding love story (for the older brother) and the addition of a household that simply shrieks "zany, uninhibited fun" without actually embodying that quality. The elements that have been grafted on to the basic story don't work and feel like so much padding; director Fred Zinnemann is considerably more successful in impressing when he does focus on the basic story and most especially when he concentrates on his young star, the enormously appealing Jackie "Butch" Jenkins. Zinnemann works exceptionally well with the child, drawing a winning performance that skirts all around "cute" without falling too far into "cutesy." Spring Byington does well as the madcap mother, and Charlies Ruggles is welcome as always, but Peter Lawford is dull from start to finish.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2011
  • UPC: 883316369111
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 72,167

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Lawford John S. Penrose
Beverly Tyler Martha
Edward Arnold Mr. Bledsoe
Charlie Ruggles Richard Pennington Roeder
Spring Byington Mrs. Penrose
O.Z. Whitehead Mr. Puddy
Paul Langton Mr. Gillespie
Ernest Whitman Mr. Mordecai
Irving Bacon Mr. Piper
Lillian Yarbo Psyche
Howard Freeman Hector Damson
Harry Hayden Mr. Gibley
Butch Jenkins Lewis Penrose
Technical Credits
Fred Zinnemann Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Rudolph G. Kopp Score Composer
Samuel Marx Producer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Alfred E. Spencer Set Decoration/Design
Morton C. Thompson Original Story, Screenwriter
Leonid Vasian Art Director
George White Editor
Edwin B. Willis Art Director, Set Decoration/Design
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Menu

Disc #1 -- My Brother Talks to Horses
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