Hollywood Handicap (1932)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Buster Keaton's career was at its nadir in 1937 -- he had been reduced to making quick and dirty low-budget two-reel comedies for Educational, but after 16 films, the company went bankrupt and he was out of work. After a few idle months, he got a low-paying job with MGM (starting for 100 dollars a week, it was later raised to 350 dollars). During his time at the studio, Keaton also directed three shorts, all of them produced by Louis Lewyn, whose specialty was combining newsreel footage with musical numbers (he was also married to Marion Mack, Keaton's co-star in The General). This one-reeler is typical of Lewyn's work, and a woeful comedown for Keaton. The Original Sing Band star as a group of stable boys who are working for a colonel. The Colonel owns a line of racehorses, but he winds up auctioning them all off, except for Susie Q, who he gives to the stable boys. The boys raise the fee to enter Susie Q in the Hollywood Handicap. The race is well-attended by movie stars (basically newsreel footage of Mickey Rooney, Oliver Hardy, Dorothy Lamour, Bing Crosby, and a host of others). When their horse falls behind, the stable boys start singing to encourage her to go faster. Instead, the horse starts dancing and she still loses the race. Luckily for the stable boys, a talent scout has seen Susie Q's performance and wants to use her in a circus film.



horse-racing, racehorse, stable-boy, talent-agent