Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1937. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Lawrence Hazard, from an original story by Eleanore Griffin, J. Walter Ruben. Cinematography by Leonard Smith. Produced by Harry Rapf. Music by William Axt. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Dolly Tree. Film Editing by Elmo Veron.
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland are teamed up for the first time in this charming little distraction about race horses. Ronald Sinclair plays a British nobleman’s grandson who accompanies his grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) to America to race their prize horse in the hopes that it will win them big money to replace the old money they no longer have. Sinclair meets champion jockey Rooney and asks him to ride his horse, in the meantime becoming his best friend. Garland plays the daughter of a boarding house mistress (Sophie Tucker, who unfortunately isn’t given anything to sing) who rents rooms out to jockeys. There’s trouble brewing when Rooney’s crooked father decides to scam his son out of thousands of dollars, putting him in an ethical quandary that nearly ruins everyone’s hopes. Garland only sings one song, ‘Got A Pair Of New Shoes’, which is repeated often throughout the film, but it’s a charming song and hearing her sing at least one is better than none. She and Rooney were such a hit with young audiences that they went on to make eight more films together in the next six years (nine if you count their brief reunion in Words and Music).