Crowds flock to a carnival sideshow to see "The Starving Man", a heavyset man who claims he can go 70 days without eating. However, a couple of murders occur at the carnival, resulting in the police becoming involved.
When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
When Georgie Crain (Fella Edmonds) goes to Newmarket for the first time, he peeks inside the High Street shop of Boyce & Rogers, the famous saddle makers. The stuffed horse on the left inside is Robert the Devil who was trained at Palace House in Newmarket. He won the St Leger and came second in the Derby in 1880, winning GBP24,000 that season - a huge sum of money at the time. Robert the Devil is still in Newmarket, at the premises of Gibson Saddlers, the firm that took over Boyce & Rogers in the early 1960s. See more »
Opening credits prologue: LINGFIELD PARK See more »
Having waited over 20 years to see The Rainbow Jacket, I was not disappointed. As a racing afficiando and a stickler for detail, I have found most films on the subject somewhat toe curling. The Rainbow Jacket is totally faithful to it's subject. As the story unfolds we are told which racecourse the action is to take place at, in each case we see exactly that course. In many racing films, some factual and historical, the action edits together scenes from several venues. Imagine a film about a Grand National winner showing horses going round the paddock at Epsom - it happens, but not in the Rainbow Jacket. Bill Owen is in top form as Sam. Fella Edmonds plays the up and coming apprentice jockey with wide eyed charm, Robert Morley adds the comedy with his usual aplomb while no racing film of that era would have been complete without Wilfred Hyde White. Look out for a wonderful performance from Ronald Ward as the blackmailer. Of the other characters, Charles Victor amuses as the head lad,Mr Boss his performance is reminiscent of Harry Enfield's 'You don't wanna do that'character. All this is rounded off by appearances by Sid James as the proprieter of a mobile canteen and a brief appearance of that grand old stalwart of the era of classic British movies - Sam Kydd.
The film was criticised in it's day for a corny plot and wooden action shots. Admittedly the plot is a little weak but racing is a notoriously difficult subject on which to add a twist as the outcome of races tend to be a little inevitable. The close up action shots using wooden horses are a little ridiculous but the wide shots are realistic and beautifully photographed at realistic racing pace. So often the action is unnecessarily accelerated. The shots of the early morning gallops really do capture the atmosphere of the wide open space of Newmarket Heath. If you don't like racing you can just wallow in the company of some marvellous British stalwarts at the top of their form in yet another winner from the Ealing Studios.
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