Sporting Blood (1916)

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Written and directed by Bertram Bracken, Fox's Sporting Blood drew heavily on such past theatrical and cinematic efforts as The Sporting Duchess and The Whip. Set largely at a race track, the story concentrated on horsewoman Mary Ballard (Dorothy Bernard), who thinks far more of her four-legged friends than her two-legged sweethearts. Villain Dave Garrison (DeWitt Jennings) intends to foreclose upon Mary and her brother Billy (George Morgan), but not if hero James Riddle (Glen White) has anything to say about it. Not surprisingly, the outcome of the story hinges upon the Big Race, and if Mary doesn't disguise herself as a jockey, then that was the only cliché left unturned. Sporting Blood proved that movie audiences still craved good old-fashioned melodrama, despite what they may have claimed in the "Letters to the Editor" columns of the various fan magazines.