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Roy Del Ruth
A film that qualifies as a Travelogue Documentary in that it contains footage of world-famous race tracks such as England's Ascot, Palermo in South America, and Churchill Downs, Jamaica, Aqueduct, Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, Belmont, Hialeah, Arlington and Saratoga in the United States, and since it begins in London in 1938, the Coronation of the King. Jock Wallace, an easy-going and rootless horse lover, is taken to task by Leslie Hale, who thinks he has swindled her Aunt Helen on the purchase of a horse. He finds out that she is engaged to Bill Van Dyke, a young diplomat, and follows her to London , entering the horse he acquired from Aunt Helen in the famed Ascot Gold Cup. Jock and Leslie fall in love and are married on a boat to South America. In Buenos Aires, Leslie is jealous of Kitty Brant, an old flame of Jock's. Leslie wants Jock to settle down on his Maryland farm to raise and sell race horses, but he has too much gypsy in his blood and wants to follow the race-track ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Who used to fix your shirts before we were married?
oh lots of people, Lady upstairs, the lady downstairs, lady across the hall, always ready to lend a helping hand to a poor bachelor, Hey Monkey, come and tie my tie for me.
Can't you do anything
Nope, Not while I have you around
You know, sooner or later you're going to have to learn this for yourself
You talk too much
[tries to kiss her]
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Some nice racetrack scenes from all over the world highlight this horse racing drama with Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara. The part that Wilde has in the film had to have been originally written for Tyrone Power. It is just the kind of hero/heel that he specialized in over in his glory years at 20th Century Fox.
If Power wasn't available Cornel Wilde in his years at Fox was one of many leading men who ran second string to Zanuck's favorite. But in this case Wilde lucked out with a good part just as he did with Forever Amber around the same time.
Wilde comes from an old Maryland racing family that has fallen on hard times. He's a racetrack vagabond of sorts who picks up a young filly as part of an estate from Maureen O'Hara's late uncle. She's an uptight Boston brahmin set to marry diplomat Glenn Langan. Try as she might she can't resist that irresponsible charm that Wilde possesses in abundance. So off they go with their filly to conquer the racing world.
With establishing footage from all over the world where the call to the post is universal music, the two try to make a go of it. She gets into the game, but she'd like to settle down at his old Maryland homestead and make a go of it with some roots.
In her memoirs Maureen O'Hara said she liked working with Wilde in their two films this one and the swashbuckler At Sword's Point. She felt in the sword play department Wilde was the equal of both Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn. Probably the superior as Wilde was a member of the US Olympic fencing team at the 1936 Olympics.
Certainly the two had good chemistry in The Homestretch. Ethel Griffies as her puritan Boston aunt and James Gleason as Wilde's and his father's old trainer are standouts in the supporting cast.
For those of us who like racetrack pictures, The Homestretch will be a winner.
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