- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Horse Racing-Bill Holden-Elmer Bernstein
I have always enjoyed Boots Malone for the three reasons in my headline -- love horse racing -- Bill Holden is my favorite actor -- and this early Elmer Bernstein score. The most exciting things are horses coming out of the starting gate, the stretch run and the finish. To me it's the most exciting two minutes in sports. It shows the track in all its glamour and tawdriness. The characters, etc. Then there's Bill Holden fresh from Sunset Boulevard, Born Yesterday and Stalag 17, really into his "sweet spot" that period in the 50s in which he may have been the most in demand male starts right up there with Kirk and Burt. And he's great in this little gem. His contract at the time was still split between Paramount and Columbia, which is why you would see him in the occasional Columbia picture. In Boots Malone, he is a good anti-hero. Finally, there's the score by Elmer Bernstein in which you hear the early sounds of future scores. It broods when Holden broods -- it blares when there's a call to the post -- it pounds when horses are running -- it underscores sincerity and sentiment when the story warrants. The cast is made up of all solid players, William Dieterle directs it firmly but conservatively and other than the fact that it was made at Columbia, it might have been elevated to an A picture at another studio. If you get a chance, watch and DVD the picture. You'll enjoy viewing it from time to time as I do.
"Boots Malone" Takes a gritty look at horse racing
- B. Rosson Davis
Here's a movie that brings the viewer into the real world of horse racing, a realistic "behind the scenes" look at life in the paddocks, the interdependent relationships between, groomers, trainers, jockeys, owners, and scrum-bags-- the B races, the washed-up trainers, the two-bit bums, the bookies, sharks and dreamers who race against all odds, who believe in the horse, and the boy who rides like the win.
What happened to Johnny Stewart
The boy, Tommy Gibson (aka Tommy Malone Jr.), is played by Johnny Stewart. Stewart was the crown prince in the original Broadway cast of "The King and I" and several other notable plays. He was also in a few other movies, like 1953's "The Last of the Comanches." He seems to have a promising career but by the late 1950s he's disappeared. I've searched the Internet and find no later reference to him than 1957, not even a death date. Anyone know his story?
Wonderful Holden flick
- Mike Higgins
I really enjoyed this story. Almost anything featuring Bill Holden is worth watching. I especially liked how his character explains the basics of being a jockey and how to handle a race horse from leaving the gate to the finish. But-- who is doing the singing? I listened closely but can't for sure say it was Bill's voice. Does anyone out there know ? Waiting for a re-run to see it again.