It’s no ordinary day at the races when betting junkie Dan Brooks (Warner Baxter) — who infuriates his wife (Helen Vinson) by preferring the racetrack to the family business — tries to turn a sorry excuse for a horse into a Triple Crown winner. Set on making it big, he buys a knock-kneed nag and, with help from his admiring sister-in-law (Myrna Loy), enters the pony in an important race in this merry comedy directed by Frank Capra.
The most honored and well-liked director of his generation, Sicilian-born Frank Capra graduated from the California Institute of Technology as a Chemical Engineering major. Down on his luck after service during World War I, he bluffed his way into the movie business and learned films from the bottom up, from the film lab to the prop department to the editing department. He settled in as a gagman during the 1920s, and soon became a director specializing in comedy. After a stint with Mack Sennett, Capra moved to Columbia Pictures, where he came into his own as a filmmaker.
Displaying a good feel for drama as well as comedy, and a common touch with which ordinary viewers could resonate, Capra quickly became the star among the tiny studio’s stable of directors. His pictures, starting with American Madness in 1932, displayed themes that audiences regarded as important and uplifting during the worst days of the Great Depression, and Capra, despite the relatively modest budgets with… read more