The Lady's from Kentucky

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The Lady's from Kentucky
Film poster
Directed byAlexander Hall
Written byMalcolm Stuart Boylan (screenplay)
Rowland Brown (story)
Produced byJeff Lazarus
StarringGeorge Raft
Ellen Drew
ZaSu Pitts
CinematographyTheodor Sparkuhl
Edited byHarvey Johnston
Music byJohn Leipold
Leo Shuken
Release date
April 28, 1939
Running time
67 min.
CountryUnited States

The Lady's from Kentucky is a 1939 film directed by Alexander Hall and starring George Raft and Ellen Drew. It was written by Malcolm Stuart Boylan from a story by Rowland Brown. The screenplay involves a failing bookie (Raft) who becomes half owner of a racehorse, with a Kentucky lady (Drew) owning the other half. ZaSu Pitts plays a supporting role.


A gambler, Marty Black, wins a fifty percent interest in a thoroughbred owned by Penelope "Penny" Hollis, a prim and proper Kentucky horsewoman. Marty can't wait to wager on his new possession, Roman Son, but the health of the horse is foremost to Penny, who would rather nurture it than race it.

After he enters Roman Son in a race without her knowledge, Marty sees the horse's condition deteriorate. Penny permits him to run Roman Son in the Kentucky Derby and a romance develops after the horse's victory, particularly when Marty agrees to retire Roman Son rather than race any more.



The film was originally known as Racing Form.[1] It always seems to have been a vehicle for Raft; Frances Dee was the first female star announced then Shirley Ross.[2] Then Frances Lee was announced as star and Raoul Walsh director.[3]

Raft was suspended by Paramount for refusing to make St Louis Blues He rejoined the studio on 5 October 1938.[4] Walsh was replaced by Alexander Hall and Dee/Ross was replaced by Ellen Drew.[5]

The film was shot partly on location at Oceanside near San Diego.[6] A real foal was born during the making of the film.[7]

The film was the last George Raft made under his contract with Paramount Pictures.[8] Filming ended in January 1939 and Raft left the studio that money after he refused to make The Magnificent Fraud.[9][10]

After filming the title was briefly changed to The Gambler and the Lady but it soon reverted to The Lady's from Kentucky.[11]


The New York Times said film "affirms the old Hollywood faith in good breeding, two-legged and four, by demonstrating once again that the New York gambler turned loose to graze in the Bluegrass inevitably comes a spiritual cropper and awakens a new and better man" conceding that "the picture moves briskly enough".[12]

The Los Angeles Times called the film "enjoyable.".[13]


  1. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOODD: Selznick Picks Billie Burke for Role of Mrs. Carleton in 'The Young in Heart' ALMA LLOYD GETS PART ' Invisible Enemy,' With Alan Marshall, Tala Birell, Opens Today at Criterion Of Local Origin" New York Times 29 Apr 1938: 17.
  2. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times. Jan 28, 1938.
  3. ^ Schallert, E. (Jun 8, 1938). ""California, adios" next on baxter list". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 164883202.
  4. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times. Sep 22, 1938.
  5. ^ (1938, Nov 5). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times
  6. ^ I. J. (Apr 23, 1939). "HOLLYWOOD BLUEGRASS". New York Times. ProQuest 102737928.
  7. ^ Schallert, E. (Jan 11, 1939). "Warners pay $75,000 for "old maid" rights". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 164905702.
  8. ^ Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.
  9. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 81
  10. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times. Jan 21, 1939.
  11. ^ "Hedda Hopper's HOLLYWOOD". Los Angeles Times. Feb 6, 1939. ProQuest 164969710.
  12. ^ Review of film at New York Times
  13. ^ "Hedda Hopper's HOLLYWOOD". Los Angeles Times. Apr 6, 1939. ProQuest 164950508.

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