Kentucky (film)

Kentucky is a 1938 Technicolor film with Loretta Young, Richard Greene, and Walter Brennan. It was directed by David Butler.[1] It is a Romeo and Juliet story of lovers Jack and Sally, set amidst Kentucky horseracing, in which a family feud goes back to the Civil War and is kept alive by Sally's Uncle Peter.

Directed byDavid Butler
Produced byGene Markey
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written byLamar Trotti
John Taintor Foote
StarringLoretta Young
Richard Greene
Walter Brennan
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Ray Rennahan
Edited byIrene Morra
Color processTechnicolor
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 30, 1938 (1938-12-30) (U.S.)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States


During the Civil War, Thad Goodwin Sr. (Charles Waldron) of Elmtree Farm, a local horse breeder, resists Capt. John Dillon (Douglass Dumbrille) and a company of Union soldiers confiscating his prize horses. He is killed by Dillon and his youngest son Peter (Bobs Watson) cries at the soldiers riding away with the horses.

75 years later, in 1938, Peter (Walter Brennan), now a crotchety old man, still resides on Elmtree Farm and raises horses with his niece Sally (Loretta Young). Dillon's grandson Jack (Richard Greene) and Sally meet, her not knowing that he was a Dillon. Sally's father, Thad Goodwin Jr., dies when his speculation on cotton drops. The Goodwins are forced to auction off nearly all their horses and Jack offers his services to Sally, as a trainer of their last prize horse, "Bessie's Boy", who is later injured.

Sally eventually loses the farm, and Mr. Dillon makes good on his original bet with Thad Jr. and offers her any two-year-old on his farm. She picks "Blue Grass" instead of the favorite, "Postman", and Jack trains him for the Derby. She eventually learns of Jack's real identity and fires him as a trainer. During the race, Blue Grass runs neck and neck with the Dillon's horse Postman, but Blue Grass wins thanks to Jack's advice. Sally embraces Jack, but Peter collapses before the decoration ceremony and dies. At his funeral, Dillon eulogizes him and of the American life of the past, as "The Grand Old Man of the American Turf".



Walter Brennan won his second Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) in his role as Peter Goodwin.


  1. ^ "Motion Picture Heads And Movie Stars At Louisville". Daily Racing Form at University of Kentucky Archives. May 8, 1939. Retrieved February 15, 2019.

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