The Rocking Horse Winner | 1949 | John Mills, Valerie Hobson

A faithful adaptation of the tragic D.H. Lawrence story. A young boy gradually discovers that by riding a rocking horse he can accurately predict the outcomes of real races. The child’s story spirals into desperate obsession. At first he likes to be the one secretly feeding his mother’s spending addiction, but her wants are never quenched.

Sensitive direction and acting make this portrayal profoundly affecting. The ending of The Rocking Horse Winner was determined by the British censor board. Though the D.H. Lawrence story ends just after the boy’s death, the film seemed so depressing that the director was asked to insert the final scene of the mother finally learning her lesson, albeit too late for the boy.

production details
UK | 91 minutes | 1949

Director: Anthony Pelissier
Producer: John Mills
Production Manager: Herbert Smith
Novel: D. H. Lawrence
Screenplay: Anthony Pelissier

John Mills as Bassett
Valerie Hobson as Hester Grahame
John Howard Davies as Paul Grahame
Ronald Squire as Oscar Cresswell
Hugh Sinclair as Richard Grahame
Charles Goldner as Mr. Tsaldouris
Susan Richards as nannie
Cyril Smith as bailiff


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