The Rocking Horse Winner

  • Film
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In introducing DH Lawrence to the screen, the Mills/Pelissier team made a strange choice with this brief, terse evocation of Oedipal love (a sensitive child, threatened by a rift between extravagant mother and jobless father, discovers an ability to predict racing winners while pretending to be a jockey, frenziedly astride his rocking horse). Though no one noticed at the time, the Lawrentian sexual undertones are clearly transposed to the film. The boy's masturbatory riding is given a frightening potency, and his attempt to win the love of his glitteringly powerful mother has little to do with filial affection. Pelissier's direction is occasionally overblown, but Mills (as the groom who feeds the boy's fantasies), obviously relishing the opportunity to use his native Suffolk accent, is admirably restrained, and a British film which explores the complex links between sex, money and power is rare indeed.

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Anthony Pélissier
Screenwriter: Anthony Pélissier
Cast: John Howard Davies
Valerie Hobson
John Mills
Ronald Squire
Hugh Sinclair
Charles Goldner
Susan Richards
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