“Stablemates” is another bizarre Mickey Rooney film from the 1930s. Rooney plays a kid wanting to save a local horse. Wallace Beery is the drunk vet that gets conned along into helping the kid and the horse dubbed Lady Q. Lady Q and Mickey want to enter the big race, but they need $75. The two pal around for a bit until they stumble onto a farm owned by Margaret Hamilton. The Wicked Witch of the West pays her new farmhands and eventually makes the drunk vet sung for his supper. The duo gets the money they need, but Mickey learns that Tom is a dirty gambling drunk.
Lady Q and Mickey race against a ton of horses including the real Seabiscuit. Mixing live California racetrack footage with staged effects, the final race is thrilling. Still, it ends with a drunk vet who murdered a jockey and horse adopting Mickey. Well, they kinda adopt each other. Then, they kiss. 1938 was a crazy year, people. Seabiscuit would later win the Pimlico after the final opened wide in the Fall of 1938. Anyone younger than 68 forgot it existed until now.
- 1.78:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby Digital 5.1
RELEASE DATE: 6/14/16
The Plot Thus Far
When a broken-down, alcoholic veterinarian with a shady past; an orphan racetrack stableboy and a filly with potential become Stablemates, you can bet your bankroll that the result will win, place and show with style. Wallace Beery and Mickey Rooney star in this sentimental yarn about a hard-luck pair and the horse who makes them into a father-son unit with a shot at the winner’s circle. With nods to the parent/child relationship from Beery’s earlier The Champ, and seaside imagery evocative of Rooney’s future The Black Stallion, director Sam Wood (A Day at the Races) mixes comedy, heart and the Beery/Rooney byplay in perfect proportion. Audiences get an added bonus: the climactic footage of the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup race features the legendary horse Seabiscuit in action, and the film opened just weeks prior to Seabiscuit’s thrilling November 1, 1938 victory over War Admiral at Pimlico that enthralled the nation, transforming Stablemates (also featuring the wonderful Margaret Hamilton) into a box-office champion.
These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD).; to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection (www.wbshop.com)