Ride the Pink Horse (1947): Robert Montgomery’s Oscar-Nominated Film Noir

Actor Robert Montgomery directed and starred in Ride the Pink Horse, a film noir set during a New Mexico fiesta.

Montgomery plays a secretive ex-serviceman who plans to blackmail and extort money from a gangster (Fred Clark) as retribution for the death of his army buddy.

Meanwhile, an FBI man (Art Smith) would like the government to get the incriminating evidence on the gangster held by Montgomery. Trailed by the FBI agent, Montgomery takes refuge at an old carousel, where he meets a Mexican girl (Wanda Hendrix).

The girl then witnesses, when the gangster meets and beats Montgomery, after which she nurses him back to health.  When the stubborn would-be blackmailer plans to confront the gangster again, the FBI agent comes to the rescue.

A moody, psychologically complex noir melodrama, skillfully scripted by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer, “Ride the Pink Horse” is well directed.

Two actors stand out: the ingénue Wanda Hendrix and Thomas Gomez, who received Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing the man who runs the carousel (which give the picture its title).

Though well received at the time, over the years “Ride the Pink Horse” has acquired a cult status by noir aficionados.

End note:

In 1964, the film was remade for TV as The “Hanged Man.”

Oscar Nominations: 1

Supporting Actor: Thomas Gomez


Oscar Actors: Gomez, Thomas–First Spanish-American to be Nominated, Ride the Pink Horse

Oscar Awards: None


Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar was Edmund Gwenn for the classic Christmas tale, “Miracle on 34th Street,” in a contest that included Charles Bickford for “The Farmer’s daughter,” Robert Ryan for “Crossfire,” which was also nominated for Best Picture, and Richard Widmark in “Kiss of Death.”



Running time: 101 Minutes