The Golden Age—1927–1939



This chapter explores the ‘long 1930s’ when British horseracing and its cinematic representations were at the apogee of their popularity. With British cinema largely revitalised by the 1927 Cinematograph Films Act, horseracing proved the central sporting subject matter of the resultant numerous ‘quota quickies’. Working hegemonically, films investigating gambling ‘luck’ worked to placate the working-class viewing public by highlighting the discomfort resultant from social ascent, while those treating racing-stable wrongdoings refrained from a full exploration lest they upset consensual social hierarchies, leaving a further strain to focus on unthreatening upper-class racing romance. Elsewhere, the introduction of colour enhanced sporting authenticity, while a regular tactic saw established music-hall comedians, moving to the uncertain film medium, successfully hitch their star to the proven cultural practice of horseracing.


‘Quota Quickies’ Crime Romance Music hall Technicolor 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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