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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
This is the warm-hearted story of a wholesome Terry Moore, whose late uncle Willie (James Gleason) is reincarnated as a thoroughbred horse. At least, as far as Ms. Moore is concerned, he is. The horse's name is October. Moore is tried for insanity, then becomes the subject of a book by a top psychologist (Glenn Ford), who falls in love with his subject. Written by
Pleasing piece of yesteryear, a whimsical, contrived, and often extremely silly comedy from (of all people) director Joseph H. Lewis. Terry Moore is brash and appealing playing a headstrong, stubborn eighteen-year old girl facing a sanity hearing after her boyfriend, a campus psychologist, publishes a paper detailing her 'delusional' belief that a racehorse named October is her beloved deceased uncle come back to life; her relatives, greedy sorts who have been cut out of the last will of the lass's eccentric aunt, hope to put the kid away, but all she really wants is to race the horse in the Kentucky Derby! Typically overstuffed screenplay by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank has lots of lickety-split talk, a courtroom sequence played at breakneck speed, but much affection for its characters as well. Moore, with her red hair, wide eyes and fashionable jodhpurs, looks like Nicole Kidman's sassy kid sister; she often struggles with her reactions, and she's so alert that at times she appears to be staring blankly, however she acquits herself nicely with this role, and her romantic scenes with Glenn Ford are sweetly screwball. The big race finale isn't given the same care as the rest of the picture (it's pushed along and then cut a bit short), but then this isn't a teary, sentimental piece and the sub-plots are neatly tied up. Good fun! **1/2 from ****
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