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An heiress and her sister's fiancee defy her family to race horses.
Dan Brooks is about to marry Margaret Higgins, daughter of the wealthy and powerful J. L. Higgins. While waiting for Maggie's divorce to come through, Dan has been put in charge of Higgins' paper box company, on probation, and will become president, just like the husbands of Maggie's two married sisters, if he can run the company properly. Dan's real interest, however, is in a horse he owns, Broadway Bill, whom he wants to someday race. Maggie's younger sister Alice, whom Dan calls the "Princess," is secretly in love with Dan and encourages the venture. One night at a family dinner, J. L. tells Dan that he is not properly committed to running the paper box company and that he must get rid of Bill. Dan replies it's true he hasn't done well for the company, but that he's not interested in it. He then says that he wants to marry Maggie, then leave Higginsville to race Bill. Though Maggie won't go with him when he leaves, she refuses to call off the wedding, telling her father that he will come back. Dan and his friend and groom, Clarence "Whitey" White, go to the Imperial Derby to race Bill. However, since Dan has returned all of Higgins' money, he doesn't have enough to enter the race. Hoping to get some money from one of his old friends, he calls Prof. Pettigrew, and he, Pettigrew, and Pettigrew's friend Oscar meet at a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately, Pettigrew also hopes to get money from Dan, and when they find out each other's intentions and realize that they don't even have enough money to pay for the food and champagne they've ordered, they create a disturbance by standing up and singing, "The Whiffenproof Song" and quickly leave the restaurant, as other diners, who are all alumni of Yale, stand up and join in singing their school song. Meanwhile, Bill won't race without his mascot, Skeeter the rooster, but Alice arrives to help out Dan, brings Skeeter with her, and loans Dan some money. Later, just before they are to eat the dinner Alice has fixed, rain begins pouring through the ramshackle stable in which they are staying. Bill becomes sick, and Dan is told by the doctor that he may get well enough in time to run the big race, which is a week away, but not before. Because Bill can't win any money before Saturday, Dan decides that he and the others must raise the $500 they need in order to enter the race. However, none of their schemes to get money work: Dan tries to give blood, but can't, as he hasn't been eating properly; Whitey tries to win at craps, but he is caught using loaded dice and beaten up; and Oscar and Pettigrew try a scam at the racetrack, but end up quickly losing money that they've made. Alice does get them money, however, by pawning some of her belongings, and has Whitey pass it off to Dan as his own winnings from gambling. The night before the race, however, Bill is attacked and taken away by the sheriff, as Dan hasn't been able to pay his feed bill. When Dan goes after Bill, he is put in jail. The next day, when the odds on Bill go up to one hundred-to-one, hospital-bound millionaire J. P. Chase, on a whim, places a small bet on Bill. When exaggerated reports about the size of the tycoon's bet get out, bets on Bill snowball, and the odds on him go down dramatically. Gambler Eddie Howard, hearing that Dan is in jail and Bill won't be able to race, gets Dan out and pays the feed bill as part of his scheme to keep the odds up on his secret favorite, Sunup, so that he can win big on the race. Meanwhile, the jockey for the favorite of the race, Gallant Lady, is suspended, and the jockey Howard hires for Bill, Ted Williams, is told by Howard to throw the race. The Higgins family watches the race on television, and even J. L. roots for Bill to win. Bill wins the race, despite Williams' attempts to make him lose, but he throws Williams and falls just after the race, his heart having burst from the strain. After Bill's funeral, Dan decides that he can't go back to Higginsville. J. L., but not Maggie, arrives at the funeral and consoles Dan, then takes a tearful Alice back with him. Some time later, Maggie has married another man, and at a family dinner, J. L. announces that he's selling all his businesses. Just then, Dan arrives and calls out to Alice to join him. J. L. tells her she should go, and she, Dan, Whitey, Skeeter, and Dan's two new horses, Broadway Bill II and Princess, go off to Santa Anita. J. L. watches them leave through the window, and then calls out for them to wait, as he's decided that he'll join them.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1950||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
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Riding High (1950)
James Higgins 2009-12-20
Reasonably pleasant musical, you can't really go wrong with any film with Bing Crosby in it. Enjoyable but it's not very memorable. Light and...