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Riding High (1950)

Passed | | Comedy | 12 April 1950 (USA)
A horse trainer who has fallen on hard times looks to his horse, Broadway Bill, to finally win the big race.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screenplay), Melville Shavelson (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Dan Brooks
Coleen Gray ... Alice Higgins
Charles Bickford ... J.L. Higgins
Frances Gifford ... Margaret Higgins
William Demarest ... Happy
Raymond Walburn ... Prof. Pettigrew
James Gleason ... Racing Secretary
Ward Bond ... Lee
Clarence Muse ... Whitey
Percy Kilbride ... Pop Jones
Harry Davenport ... Johnson
Margaret Hamilton ... Edna
Paul Harvey ... Whitehall
Douglass Dumbrille ... Eddie Howard
Gene Lockhart ... J.P. Chase
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Storyline

A horse trainer who has fallen on hard times looks to his horse, Broadway Bill, to finally win the big race.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's Riding High See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Previously filmed as Broadway Bill (1934), also directed by Frank Capra, and starring Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy. The climactic horse race is footage from the earlier version. 'Raymond Walburn' (Pettigrew) and 'Clarence Muse' (Whitey) repeat their roles as well. In addition, other actors repeated roles with slightly different character names: Ward Bond, Margaret Hamilton, Irving Bacon, Frankie Darro, Charles Lane, Pat Moriarty, Paul Harvey and Douglass Dumbrille. See more »


Soundtracks

Sunshine Cake
(1950) (uncredited)
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby, Clarence Muse and Coleen Gray (partially dubbed)
Reprised by them later
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User Reviews

 
Remake is far superior to the original
5 April 2011 | by 16mmRaySee all my reviews

First, let me say "nuts" to the cinema snobs who carp about Capra recycling footage from Broadway BILL in order to bring this picture in on budget. If that's what it took, so be it. In my opinion, RIDING HIGH is far superior to the original picture in many ways. First, the original script was followed closely but was peppered with several "toppers". Second, the comedy sequences - especially the racetrack swindle scene - are much funnier in RIDING HIGH. It was a genuine stroke of genius to give habitual track inhabitant Oliver Hardy the role of the poor sap who sinks it all on "Doughboy". Most importantly, Bing Crosby is, as Capra states in his autobio, right as rain for the role of Dan Brooks. Warner Baxter was decidedly out-of-place and his dour personality put a serious dent in the dramatic success of Broadway BILL. Sure, Colleen Gray is not Myrna Loy. But she is wonderfully natural in this picture and a wonderful mate for Bing. Also vastly improved in this version is the relationship between Dan and Whitey (Clarence Muse in both pictures). There is no real chemistry between Baxter and Muse (Baxter even gives him a malicious kick in the pants at one point) whereas Crosby and Muse exude genuine affection for one another. Another big plus is Percy Kilbride as the feed man. The scene at the track where he tries to get his bill paid is one of the most hysterical examples of frustration in a character I've ever seen. And please don't complain about the songs. Burke and Van Heusen wrote outstanding material for Crosby and these songs fit the characters and situations just fine. And it's nice to have "Sunshine Cake", except for a few bars, sung on-set and not pre-recorded. Lynne Overman may have a slight edge as a Damon Runyon type, but Bill Demarest as Happy gets much bigger laughs. All-in-all, this is one of my very favorite Capra pictures. Bravo to the great director for hitting on the idea of remaking it, all to the better.


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