A sports store clerk poses as a famous jockey as an advertising stunt, but gets more than he bargained for.A sports store clerk poses as a famous jockey as an advertising stunt, but gets more than he bargained for.A sports store clerk poses as a famous jockey as an advertising stunt, but gets more than he bargained for.
Powell plays a sporting goods salesman in a department store and gets persuaded to impersonate a noted horseman and polo player who happens to be in Australia at the moment. Department store executive Walter Catlett is looking to market his wares among Maryland's horsey set and gets the bizarre notion to have Powell masquerade there. Catch is that just like in Cowboy from Brooklyn, Powell is deathly afraid of horses.
I think you can see where the rest of this is going. It's in the tradition of race track comedies like A Day At the Races or It Ain't Hay. Of course those films were in the hands of comedians like the Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello. Now Powell does look uncomfortable throughout and maybe his desperate wish not to be doing these kind of films translates into awkwardness.
Powell was one of the most realistic at self assessment of his talents. He said himself he was not a national icon like Bing Crosby or creative like Fred Astaire. His days in musical films were numbered any way it was sliced. He had to break out or see his career go up the spout.
But here in Going Places he wasn't even given anything good to sing. A few songs in the comic vein. The big hit number is Jeepers Creepers which sure was a big hit in 1938 and sung by the inimitable Louis Armstrong. Satchmo plays the groom of a horse named Jeepers Creepers who's one wild nag. Satch soothes the savage beast with his rendition of the song.
Of course he endures some of the racial stereotyping of the day as well in the role. That could never have been to his liking, even to get a big song hit.
Such Warner Brother veterans as Anita Louise, Allen Jenkins, Harold Huber and Ronald Reagan fill out the cast. Of his fellow contractees at Warner Brothers, Reagan for the rest of his life always singled out Pat O'Brien and Dick Powell as the most encouraging to a young player looking to rise.
Only fans of the players named above should bother with this one.
- Jan 4, 2006