1 user 1 critic

The Racing Strain (1932)

Passed | | Drama, Sport | 31 December 1932 (USA)
A race-car driver whose career is on the skids because of his drinking falls for a rich society girl. That motivates him to clean up his act and resume his career, but it may be too late for that.



(story) (as Mrs. Wallace Reid), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview:
Wallace Reid Jr. ...
Bill Westcott aka The Big Shot (as Wally Reid Jr.)
Mr. Martin
King Kelly
Marian Martin
Aunt Judy
Eddie Phillips ...
'Speed' Hall
Bill Westcott as a Little Boy (courtesy of Hal Roach)
Lorin Raker ...
Jack Westcott
Tia Juana Lil
Togo (as Otto Yama)
King's Mechanic
Rival Car Driver
James P. Burtis ...
1st Mechanic (as Jimmy Burtis)


A race-car driver whose career is on the skids because of his drinking falls for a rich society girl. That motivates him to clean up his act and resume his career, but it may be too late for that.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sport






Release Date:

31 December 1932 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening sequence supposedly takes place at an Indianapolis 500 race in the early 1920's, but the cars are early-1930's production models that would never have been used in an Indianapolis 500. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Dirt track racing has the same appeal as public executions
22 August 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

One of the better examples of the thirties racing car dramas. It's storyline worked, the acting was competent, and the mix of story, racing and flying sequences well balanced. A race driver has a fatal accident on the track in front of his four year old son, Billy. The dying man's last wish is that his sidekick look after Billy and make him the best racer in the world. Ten year's later the two are driving across the desert on an unmade track(!?) in a beat up Flivver when the come across a large stranded limousine whose passengers are a beautiful young woman and her aunt. They tow the car to the nearest gas station, on the way picking up Togo, the Japanese chauffeur, sent ahead to get gas, but frightened up a tree by a passing bull (actually only a cow). The girl recognises the man as a former racer, King Kelly, disqualified for drunkenness. Having fallen for him, she gets her father, a wealthy gas and oil man, to get him back into racing, to the annoyance of her boyfriend, another racer. Meanwhile Billy is scared of racing, and everybody brands him as yellow. However, he likes flying and is very good at it, despite not having a licence (or insurance). A friendly barnstormer loans him his plane (possibly a Stearman, though I can't find one with the right combination of undercarriage and tailfin), as Billy is a natural, finding stunt flying safer than racing. At the Legion Ascot Raceway (now defunct as it killed too many people, but near Lincoln Hills, LA), the boyfriend makes rude remarks about Billy and a fight ensues. Togo saves Billy using ju-jitsu, and then teaches him some basic manoeuvres, and also how to shout Banzai!, which he says means Whoopee. (I think it meant more than that in 1941.) Kelly invites the girl out for the day to an (unidentified but identifiable) amusement park: pause to watch lots of rides. Meanwhile, Billy takes Togo for a spin (cost $2, which he borrows). The next day is the big race, but the now-ex-boyfriend's backers are worried he might lose, and secretly plan to sabotage Kelly. Next day at the race track, Kelly receives a letter apparently from Billy's mother saying she wants him back, and will Kelly meet her at the American Bar in Tijuana. Kelly reckons he will just have time to get there and back before the race (though today it's a two hour drive by Freeway according to Google). He borrows a car and gets to the bar where the woman persuades him to have a drink, which is a Mickey Finn: its all been a set up. Meanwhile, back at the race track everyone is looking for Kelly. The girl finds the letter and realises what has happened. There isn't enough time to drive, so she and Billy go to the airfield, and borrow the plane again. They land at the Mexican border: empty desert in the middle of nowhere, and not a Homeland Security Guard for miles - how times have changed looking at it today. However, there is a handy taxi to take them the three miles into Tijuana, where they find the comatose Kelly in the bar. A bad guy tries to stop them taking him. But Billy floors him with ju-jitsu, and they fly back to LA, leaving the borrowed car behind. Kelly is too ill to drive, so Billy bites the bullet of his fears, races and wins. General rejoicing without a bottle of bubbly. Kelly get the girl, and Togo (Otto Yamaoka) spends the war in the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, Cody, Wyoming.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: