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Francis Goes to the Races (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy | 1 May 1951 (USA)
The owner of a talking mule, now a horse-breeder, gets involved with gangsters.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Robert Arthur (story), Oscar Brodney (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Donald O'Connor ... Peter Stirling
Piper Laurie ... Frances Travers
Cecil Kellaway ... Colonel Travers
Jesse White ... Frank Damer
Barry Kelley ... Roy Square Deal Mallory
Hayden Rorke ... Rogers
Vaughn Taylor ... Chief Inspector Carrington
Larry Keating ... Head Steward
Molly ... Francis The Talking Mule (as Francis the Talking Mule)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Meredith ... Banker Munroe (archive footage)
Sammy Shack Sammy Shack ... Vendor (scenes deleted)
Bernard Szold Bernard Szold ... Proprietor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

The owner of a talking mule, now a horse-breeder, gets involved with gangsters.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Francis nas Corridas See more »

Company Credits

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

Donald O'Connor's second of six "Francis" movies. See more »

Connections

Followed by Francis Joins the WACS (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cucaracha
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Chill Wills
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Taut Political Thriller!
9 May 2017 | by masercotSee all my reviews

This movie progresses more organically than any of the other Francis movies, i.e. the plot doesn't seem forced.

Francis Goes to the Races starts with the mule talking to a crowd of stunned and indignant people, essentially, ending Peter Sterling's job and putting the two on the road again. It is a dynamic used often in this series: Peter gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble until the only thing that can get him out of it is a long diatribe from his mule. Beginning with it is kind of clever.

It is essential that the viewer understand the science behind the movie: Mules can talk to horses. You wouldn't think so, but apparently, since they look so much alike, they also speak the same language. You also need to remember that Francis' great aunt was a Derby winner. The two stop at a horse farm on the road and Francis meets a relative. He decides to stay at the farm and let Peter take a stab at life without a talking mule to mess things up.

Anyone who watches these movies is aware that Peter Sterling is the piston that isn't firing in that particular dyad; and, it isn't long until he gets himself in trouble. And, it isn't long until Francis bails him out. There's a pretty girl, also. And, gangsters… This movie doesn't surpass Francis Joins the WACS in quality, however, it is a fun movie.


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