Underwhelming racetrack drama with hard-shelled sentiment and tearjerker aspirations...
Ernest Hemingway's short story, originally filmed in 1950 as "Under My Skin", was about a crooked jockey hoping to reform for the sake of his worshipful son; this TV-adaptation--designed to showcase teenage star Kristy McNichol--changes the son to an estranged daughter and the jockey to a penniless horse-trainer trying to recapture his former glory. The two characters butt heads but don't seem to share the same temperament--it's all fabricated. Kristy's character lives in an isolated bubble, with no friends, no background, and an interest in horses which rears itself up suddenly. It might have been a more tolerable family drama without Dominic Frontiere's dripping, cloying strings on the soundtrack, not to mention a ready-made love-interest for the father (and mama for the girl) in a hash-slinging waitress who has just purchased a beautiful house in the country. This is strictly a racetrack fairy tale, and not a very convincing one at that. One of McNichol's few mediocre performances; Warren Oates crinkles his eyes and bellows in appropriate fashion.
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