Tony Draws a Horse
Original theatrical poster
Directed byJohn Paddy Carstairs
Written byBrock Williams
Based onthe play Tony Draws a Horse by Lesley Storm
Produced byBrock Williams
StarringCecil Parker
Anne Crawford
Derek Bond
Barbara Murray
CinematographyJack Hildyard
Edited byGerald Thomas
Music byBretton Byrd
Pinnacle Productions
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
  • June 1950 (1950-06)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£80,000[1]

Tony Draws a Horse is a 1950 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Cecil Parker, Anne Crawford and Derek Bond.[2] It was adapted from a 1939 play of the same name by Lesley Storm.[3]


When their eight-year-old son Tony (Anthony Lang) draws a horse on his father's office wall, complete with reproductive organs, surgeon father (Cecil Parker) and psychiatrist mother (Anne Crawford) come to blows over how to deal with the boy's behaviour. The father favours discipline and a beating for the child, the mother wants to spare the rod and reward Tony for so freely expressing himself. The resulting marital bust up causes the wife to leave for her parents home, and from thence to Dieppe.


Critical reception

In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther wrote, "To spank or not to spank, that is the question which gayly precipitates a clash of parental personalities and a consequent explosion of domestic strife in the Park Avenue Theatre's new attraction, the British comedy, 'Tony Draws a Horse'....It is out of this cozy situation that Mr. Williams (from Mr. Storm) has propelled a tempest of family complications that rocks with is a toss-up as to which is more fun—Cecil Parker as the pompous father or Anne Crawford as the mother with new ideas. Mr. Parker does a richly amusing characterization of a righteous fuddy-dud and Miss Crawford is blithe and beguiling as a lady who is a little light in the head. Barbara Everest fumes and fusses like a school-marm as the matron who worships routine, Mervyn Johns is gentle as her husband and Edward Rigby is a card as grandpa. Dandy Nichols, David Hurst and Marjorie Gresley are amusing in other character roles; Derek Bond and Barbara Murray are good as love-birds and Anthony Lang is fit to slaughter as the kid. Under the facile direction of John Paddy Carstairs, the whole lot turn out a rollicking little picture that is loaded with chuckles and guffaws".[4]

Leonard Maltin called the film an "Occasionally funny but overly talky (not to mention outdated) satire".[5]

More recently, the Radio Times wrote, "Prolific comedy director John Paddy Carstairs here turns in a workmanlike, but nevertheless likeable, adaptation of Lesley Storm's stage play."[6]


  1. ^ a b Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 102. Income is producer's share of receipts.
  2. ^ "Tony Draws a Horse (1950)". BFI. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016.
  3. ^ Goble, Alan (8 September 2011). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110951943 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Movie Reviews". 27 March 2020 – via
  5. ^ "Tony Draws a Horse (1950) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  6. ^ "Tony Draws a Horse – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.