Skip to comments.A Film Races Against the Odds ("50 to 1")
Posted on 03/27/2014 6:33:08 PM PDT by CedarDave
When Mine That Bird won the 2009 Kentucky Derby, he blazed a path so profoundly unexpected that to this day expert handicappers wince at his name. Going into the race, nothing was expected of this 50-to-1 nobody from nowhere. And for most of the race, he was dead lastuntil jockey Calvin Borel made his move from behind the pack, sneaking up tight against the rail and flying past them all.
For filmmaker Jim Wilson, the enduring wow factor of the narrative cried out for the big screen. The major studios didn't agree. "Hollywood wanted nothing to do with it," he said.
So he went ahead anyway. Functioning as producer, director and co-writer, he raised about $8.5 million from a handful of investors to make "50 to 1," a feature-length dramatization starring Skeet Ulrich ("As Good As It Gets") as horse trainer Chip Woolley and Christian Kane ("Leverage") as owner Mark Allen.
To launch an independent film against recent big-budget releases like "Divergent," Mr. Wilson took a cue from Mine That Bird and crafted a grass-roots marketing campaign: He and select cast members are traveling together in a 45-foot busa roving billboard wrapped in "50 to 1" adsthrough the American heartland to film screenings and horse races.
So far, the numbers are huge. In Las Cruces, N.M. last weekend, the film played to a sold-out crowd at the Mesilla Valley Mall's movie theater, where locals flocked looking sharp in pressed jeans and wide-brimmed hats. Throughout the film, the audience cheeredhooting especially when Kentucky racing royalty snubs the underdog New Mexicans at the Derby. And though the outcome of the 2009 Derby is known, seeing the actual NBC footage on the big screen, with judicious edits, is a heart-stopper.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
No big time reviews yet, but those that have seen it say its a film you can take your family to, where the odds are against you but you come out on top. Where the good guys as in the old cowboy movies win in real life. A funny, heartfelt film that will tear you up at the end.
Enjoy the trailer:
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Watched some of the discussion last Sunday during the Sunland Derby broadcast.
On Sunday, the bus relocated to the infield of the Sunland Park racetrack, home of the Sunland Derby, which in 2009 was Mine That Bird's last prep race before the Kentucky Derby. The day drew a record crowd of more than 18,600.
50:1 is the title, since these were the steep odds against Mine That Bird winning the Kentucky Derby. There are spectacular moments in sports. The turnaround, basket catch by Willy Mays in the outfield is something that comes readily to mind. Others as well are spellbinding and exhilerating. Mine That Bird's entry into legend, too, should be included. The Run for the Roses is often referred to as the most exciting two minutes in sports. Whoever started the rumor was made into an honest man or honest woman in 2009.
~~ snip ~~
It is hard to resist such an emotional victory, won not by the high and mighty sippers of mint juleps, but the scrappy cowpunchers from the land of chili peppers. There are a few scenes in the movie that got it a PG-13 rating. Otherwise, Mine That Bird, the movie, could very well be the best family film out there. The owner's prayer that the horse just not finish last was more than answered, to put it mildly. In my opinion, 50:1 also qualifies as a modern Western, the beleaguered genre going through tough times. Recommended.
Count me as one who winces... I was there that day. And, NO... I had NO TICKETS that included that freaking bird.
I can’t wait to see the movie though... I like ALL horse racing movies!
the 1 dollar superfecta paid $278,000....
This really is a great story-can’t wait to see it on film.