Poster of Saratoga
|Directed by||Jack Conway|
|Music by||Edward Ward|
|Release date(s)||23, 1937|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Saratoga is a 1937 film written by Anita Loos and directed by Jack Conway. The movie stars Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in their sixth and final film collaboration. When filming was 90% completed, Harlow collapsed on the set and died about a week later, reportedly of uremic poisoning. MGM wanted to reshoot the movie with Virginia Bruce or Jean Arthur. However, Harlow fans complained, so the remaining scenes were filmed with Mary Dees doubling for the camera and Paula Winslowe supplying Harlow's voice. The supporting cast includes Lionel Barrymore, Frank Morgan, Walter Pidgeon, Hattie McDaniel, and Margaret Hamilton. The film would be Harlow's final movie and, unsurprisingly, Harlow's fans turned out in droves, making Saratoga MGM's biggest moneymaker of 1937.
Bookie Duke Bradley (Clark Gable) stops the bank from taking the stud of Grandpa Clayton (Lionel Barrymore). Carol Clayton (Jean Harlow) calls from England that she is going to marry the wealthy Hartley Madison (Walter Pidgeon). Duke tells her father, Frank Clayton (Jonathan Hale), and Grandpa. Broke, Frank gives Duke the deed to the family farm to pay his gambling debts. At the races, Duke takes bets and meets Hartley and Carol. Duke greets Fritzi (Una Merkel) with a kiss. During a race, Frank collapses and dies.
Carol asks Duke to sell her the farm, but Duke assures her he won't foreclose on Grandpa. They quarrel about her marrying for money. Fritzi tells Duke that her husband Jesse Kiffmeyer (Frank Morgan) is allergic to horses. When Jesse sneezes during an auction, Duke sees to it that this is considered a bid, and Jesse ends up buying a horse that Fritzi wanted. Grandpa tells Duke that Carol is selling her horse, Moonray; Carol tells Duke she needs money to pay him off. Duke bids Hartley up to $14,000 but stops before Carol is going to let him win. Hartley asks Grandpa to train Moonray.
Carol studies horses and has won money from Duke. Tip O'Brien (Cliff Edwards) sings "The Horse With the Dreamy Eyes" with Fritzi, Duke, and Rosetta (Hattie McDaniel). Carol is friendly with Duke until he asks her to get Hartley betting. Duke calls on Hartley and tells him to help Carol's nerves. Hartley calls Dr. Bierd (George Zucco), who says Carol is emotional and should marry soon or not see Hartley. Duke gets Hartley to bet and win $6,000, telling Tip it is bait. Carol tells Hartley not to bet with Duke, who learns Hartley is leaving. Carol asks Hartley to stay.
At the track, Hartley bets with Duke and loses $5,000. On a train, Duke dines with Fritzi and Jesse, who is jealous. Fritzi knows Duke is in love with Carol, and Duke says he plans to win money to marry her. Carol tells Duke she loves him and has broken off her engagement to Hartley. When Duke objects to losing Hartley, she gets angry. At the races, Hartley loses. Hartley hires a new trainer for Moonray. Carol gets Jesse's contract with the jockey Dixie Gordon (Frankie Darro) so Duke will lose; but Fritzi tells Jesse that that if Duke wins, he will marry Carol. Dixie is riding Moonray. Grandpa quarrels with the new trainer. The race is a photo finish, but Moonray loses. On a train, Carol and Duke celebrate.
- Clark Gable - Duke Bradley
- Jean Harlow - Carol Clayton
- Lionel Barrymore - Grandpa Clayton
- Frank Morgan - Jesse Kiffmeyer
- Walter Pidgeon - Hartley Madison
- Una Merkel - Fritzi
- Cliff Edwards - Tip
- George Zucco - Dr. Harmsworth Bierd
- Jonathan Hale - Frank Clayton
- Hattie McDaniel - Rosetta
- Frankie Darro - Dixie Gordon
- Margaret Hamilton - Maizie
- Duke Bradley: Honey, I love ya!
- Fritzi Kiffmeyer: We women can do things to a man we love that men wouldn't do to a rattlesnake.
- Duke: Why, honey, you look sharp as a razor.
- Fritzi: Oh, there he is, the sweetheart!
- Duke: Who, your husband?
- Fritzi: No, that colt!