Riders Up (1924)

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Most films about horse racing during the silent era were either Drury Lane-style melodramas, or involved the glamorous life of the thoroughbred owners. This comedy-drama was refreshing change of pace -- it concerns a group of down-and-out bettors. Johnny (Creighton Hale) has convinced his family back home that he is involved in some sort of legitimate business, but the truth is that he keeps losing at the horse races and can't even scrape enough money together to return home or to pay rent to his landlady, Mrs. Ryan (the formidable Kate Price). One day, however, he overhears a tip on a long shot. He gets the money to bet on the horse after a car hits him and the driver hands him a hundred dollars. His winnings total three thousand dollars, but then he discovers that his blind pal, old Jeff (Robert Brower), has lost his life savings by betting on a loser. Johnny pretends that Jeff's horse won, and hands him the money. It looks like Johnny is stuck, but Mrs. Ryan comes to his aide, and he takes her daughter, Norah (Ethel Shannon), back home as his wife.