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Red Pony, The (Republic 1949, Robert Mitchum, Myrna Loy)

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This is great family entertainment, with a distinguished pedigree: written by John Steinbeck, directed by Lewis Milestone and featuring one of the few scores written directly for the screen by Aaron Copland. A young boy’s admiration for a ranch hand (Robert Mitchum) causes friction with his city-bred father (Strudwick) and mother (Myrna Loy). When the boy’s adored pony gets loose and falls ill, he blames Mitchum. His father comes home and helps his son through the crisis, and Mitchum gives the boy a new pony when his mare has a foal. Remade for TV in 1972 with Henry Fonda.

Aaron Copland, who scored ‘The Red Pony’, is widely acknowledged as the dean of American music; his compositions ‘Appalachian Spring,’ ‘Rodeo’ and ‘Billy the Kid’ are more frequently played than work by any other 20th-century U.S. composer.

production details
USA / Republic / 89 minutes / 1949

Director: Lewis Milestone
Producer: Lewis Milestone
Cinematography: Tony Gaudio
Editor: Harry Keller
Music: Aaron Copland
Script: John Steinbeck
Art Direction: Victor Greene

cast
Shepperd Strudwick as Mr. Fred Tiflin
Margaret Hamilton as Teacher
Myrna Loy as Alice Tiflin
Beau Bridges as Beau
Robert Mitchum as Billy Buck
Louis Calhern as Grandfather
Peter Miles as Tom
Patty King as Jinx Ingals
Jackie Jackson as Jackie