I agree with the person who wrote that the title Stablemates starring Mickey Rooney and Wallace Beery is all you need to know about this film, it practically tells you what's going to happen. But the reason is because these two stars with their indelible images at the heights of their respective careers explains all. Beery and Rooney are two of the greatest scene stealers of all time in the movies and director Sam Wood must have felt like a referee since a whole lot of the film is just with these two.
Rooney is an orphan kid who hustles a few dollars at the racetrack and Beery is a drunk whose inebriation belies the fact he knows a great deal about the sport of kings. When Rooney gets a horse from Oscar O'Shea that's about to be shipped to the glue factory for failing to live up to his promise, we learn a great deal about Beery. It seems he was a promising veterinarian and he performs a delicate operation that relieves a small tumor on the horse's hoof. After that its Rooney, Beery and the horse three for one and one for three.
Later on we also find out that Beery is wanted on a manslaughter rap and that's the reason he's kept a low and drunken profile for years. Still the two of them have the horse entered in a big stakes race and will they get to achieve their goal.
Stablemates also has a nice performance from Margaret Hamilton a five time widow with whom the two Stablemates take shelter. She'd kind of like to make Beery number six and Wally with some trepidation is ready to go for it. Can't be worse than jail.
The tracks in the California area provide the authentic atmosphere. A lot of the film was shot on the Bay Meadows track area in Burlington, California.
But Stablemates is first and foremost a star vehicle for two very big stars in every sense of the word.
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