Tycoon J.L. Higgins controls his whole family, but one of his sons- in-law, Dan Brooks and his daughter Alice are fed up with that. Brooks quits his job as manager of J.L.'s paper box factory and devotes his life to his racing horse Broadway Bill, but his bank- roll is thin and the luck is against him, he is arrested because of $150 he owes somebody for horse food, but suddenly a planed fraud by somebody else seems to offer him a chance... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Modern prints carry the Paramount logo before the opening credits and after the closing credits due to the fact that the film is now owned by Paramount, who bought the rights in order to produce the remake Riding High (1950). See more »
Frank Capra spotted Broadway BILL (1934) between IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) and MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936). The Director did not think much of the film at the time nor in his memoirs. Critics remarks mainly praised the cast and little else. They were right, there are better Race-Track films out there, from CHARLIE CHAN AT THE RACE TRACK (1936) too SEABISCUIT (2003). This film has a first rate cast starting with Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy, the leads. The rest, competent character actors from Capra's stock company at COLUMBIA the producing studio. So what went wrong?
The screenplay has 'whiskers' on it even for a mid 1930s' programmer. There is every corny and trite cliché that can be imagined in the script. They even have Franky Darro as BILL's Jockey, TED WILLIAMS! Darro made a Hollywood career out of playing Jockey's. The worse portrayal is Baxter's DAN BROOKS. Maybe in the 1930's being a irresponsible and obnoxious jerk was somewhat enduring, it certainly is not in the 21st Century. This film should be viewed solely as a curiosity piece or for the real Frank Capra fanatics.
For some reason Capra felt the need to remake this film with Bing Crosby as DAN BROOKS. RIDING HIGH (1950) though longer is no better and we also rate it IMDb Four****Stars. Capra, post WWII seemed to have lost his 'touch'. He would also remake LADY FOR A DAY (1933) as POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES (1961) his last film. His time had run out.
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