THE RED PONY
Tile #19 on the Studio City Walk of Fame
Herbert J. Yates presents John Steinbeck's The Red Pony
Released March 28, 1949
CAST: Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, Peter Miles, Louis Calhern, Shepperd Strudwick, Margaret Hamilton, Patty King, Beau Bridges
Written by John Steinbeck (Screenplay and Novel)
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Original Music by Aaron Copland
The Red Pony was released by Republic Pictures in 1949 and is considered one of the most acclaimed films released by the studio. The screenplay was adapted from John Steinbeck's novel The Red Pony which is actually a compilation of four short stories, "The Gift," "The Great Mountain," "The Leader of the People" and "The Promise." Each story was published separately in journals between 1933 and 1937. The four stories were compiled under the title The Red Pony in 1945. Director Lewis Milestone and John Steinbeck began their collaboration on The Red Pony in 1941, incorporating elements from the fourth story, "The Leader of the People," into the screenplay.
After Republic agreed to distribute the picture, Robert Mitchum was loaned out from RKO and David O. Selznick's production company Vanguard. The picture was shot on location on a ranch in Agoura, CA, and its eighty-one day shooting schedule was the longest and most expensive in Republic's history.
Peter Miles stars as Tom Tiflin, the little boy at the heart of this classic coming-of-age story. Tom daydreams of knights and the circus, these dream sequences are wonderfully realized by director Lewis Milestone. With his constantly bickering parents (Shepperd Strudwick and Myrna Loy), the lonely farm boy seeks refuge from his troublesome home life and looks to cowboy Billy Buck (Robert Mitchum) for companionship and paternal love. When Billy Buck presents the boy with a newborn red pony, he soon learns that the gift brings hard won lessons in responsibility and love.
Look for 10 year old Beau Bridges in one of his earliest film roles.
In a film review for Rovi, Craig Butler says, "Robert Mitchum is perfectly cast as the man-of-few-words, Billy Buck, and Myrna Loy expertly employs her quiet reservoir of unstated emotions. Young Peter Miles handles the daunting role of Tom with amazing assurance and resourcefulness. Special notice must also be made of Aaron Copland's stirring, unforgettable score, as well as Tony Gaudio's flavorful cinematography. The Red Pony is an excellent film that bears repeated viewings."
ABOUT REPUBLIC PICTURES
Republic Pictures is one of the first major independent movie studios best known for creating B-movies featuring A-list stars. Founded in 1935 by Herbert Yates as a merger of several smaller "poverty row" studios, Republic produced memorable feature films and launched the careers of John Wayne, Gene Autry, Rex Allen, and Roy Rogers. Republic exploded into national prominence with its focus in westerns, movie serials and B-films emphasizing mystery and action, the staple of Saturday afternoon matinees. Notable Republic Pictures include Under Western Stars (1938), Flying Tigers (1942), Macbeth (1948), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Red Pony (1949), The Quiet Man (1952) and Johnny Guitar (1954).
Republic Pictures was located at 4024 Radford Avenue in Studio City, California now home to .
For more information, please visit the SCIA website Walk of Fame pages.
Reference Materials from the American Film Institute and Republic Pictures Archives.