The Galloping Major. Image shows left to right: Susan Hill (Janette Scott), Bill Collins (Jimmy Hanley), Major Arthur Hill (Basil Radford), Pam Riley (Rene Ray). Credit: STUDIOCANAL

Key details

Basil Radford
Basil Radford, Jimmy Hanley, Janette Scott, A.E. Matthews, Rene Ray, Charles Victor, Joyce Grenfell, Hugh Griffith and more
Monja Danischewsky and Henry Cornelius
Henry Cornelius
Monja Danischewsky

An encounter with the unlikeliest of people - his bookmaker's debt collector, Mr Temple - leads Major Arthur Hill (retired) to a chance discovery of a shared love for horses: both the animals themselves, and their races.

Not dissimilarly down on his luck, Temple suggests they pool their meagre resources and place a few bets based on some well-placed knowledge, and sure enough the pair are delighted to win. However, this only whets their appetite for more, and when the horse upon which they secured their financial victory, Montana Miss, comes up for sale, they're resolute on finding the means to acquire her!

The pair quickly realise that estimated sum required - some £300 - is, alas, significantly beyond their reach; but Hill's 12 year-old daughter Susan comes up with the perfect solution: establish a syndicate and invite all their friends, family, acquaintances and locals in the village-like community of Lambs Green, north London, to become co-owners.

After a lot of crafty endeavour (and not a little assistance from a former superior of the Major's, Sir Robert), they manage to raise the funds just in time, and head out to make the purchase of a lifetime. Unfortunately, a confusion at the race track leads to their bidding on - and winning - the wrong horse, with the ominous name Father's Folly!

Most of the other members of the syndicate are far from impressed with the mishap, but they resolve to give their new possession a trial race. It, too, ends up in unmitigated disaster when the horse fails to even complete the course - the jockey, however, observes that whilst it may not have any prospect for taking on a flat race, Father's Folly has the makings of a champion steeplechaser...

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Additional details

UK certificate
82 minutes

Independent Film Distributors

Romulus Films

Camera set-up
Single camera
Black and white

Website links

Broadcast details

Most recent repeats
  • Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 9:10am on TPTV
  • Monday 5th August 2019 at 6:00am on TPTV
  • Wednesday 25th April 2018 at 12:40am on TPTV

Recording details

  • Riverside Studios - Studios
  • Belsize Lane - Lambs' Green junction (Link)
  • Holloway Bus Garage
  • Alexandra Palace Racecourse - Flat race sequences
  • Hyde Park and Wandsworth Common - Training sequences
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Teddington Studios - Rosdale Film Studios sequences
  • Chiswick and Shere - Villages en-route to Chester

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