Ride the Pink Horse

Photo of Robert Montgomery and Andrea King in "Ride the Pink Horse." Universal, 1947.

Robert Montgomery and Andrea King in “Ride the Pink Horse.” Universal, 1947.

“Ride the Pink Horse” was Andrea King’s first film for Universal-International, and her first as an established star outside of Warner Bros. She ended up making five in a row for Universal, and she started out with one of her very best performances with this film. But the decision to make “Ride the Pink Horse” wasn’t an easy one. Andrea had been offered the juicy role of double-crossing Marjorie Lundeen, and at the same time Fox had offered her the wonderful part of a blackmailing psychiatrist in “Nightmare Alley,” opposite Tyrone Power. Scheduling made it impossible to accept both parts, so for the first time in her career Andrea had to choose between pictures.

“Ride the Pink Horse” had a screenplay by one of Hollywood’s greatest — Ben Hecht, along with Charles Lederer. This was a huge plus in its favor. Robert Montgomery was set to star and also direct the picture, and producer Joan Harrison, who had hand-picked Andrea for this part, had written several of Hitchcock’s classic films.

“Nightmare Alley,” on the other hand, offered her the chance to work with Tyrone Power, in an equally outstanding role, with an equally compelling script.

In the end, she chose “Ride the Pink Horse,” and the film has stood the test of time as a rarely-seen but truly great film noir classic. Joining Andrea and Bob Montgomery on the shadowy screen were Wanda Hendrix in a break-through performance as Pila, a Mexican waif, Fred Clark as the nearly-deaf and villainous Frank Hugo, Art Smith as FBI agent Bill Retz, and Thomas Gomez as Pancho — in a delightful and heart-felt performance that earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for 1947.

Original 1-sheet poster for "Ride the Pink Horse," 1947.

Original 1-sheet poster for “Ride the Pink Horse,” 1947.


Andrea King as Marjorie Lundeen in "Ride the Pink Horse," 1947.

Andrea King as Marjorie Lundeen in “Ride the Pink Horse,” 1947.