Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hollywood Handicap

Another new to me short is Hollywood Handicap, which will be on TCM today at about 5:45 PM, or following What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? a(3:30 PM, 134 min).

The plot involves a group of black stable hands who form a singing group and pool their money to put a horse into the Hollywood Handicap horse race at Santa Anita. But it really seems to be an opportunity to show a bunch of stars enjoying a day out at the track. The cast list includes a whole bunch of stars, from multiple studios. The short was distributed by MGM and so has Mickey Rooney and Robert Montgomery. But there's also Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour who I think were both at Paramount at the time; I think Ruby Keeler and Al Jolson were with Warner Bros. Or, at least, they had been. Oliver Hardy appears; Stan Laurel doesn't. The short was also directed by Buster Keaton in that sad period of his life when he was no longer starring in movies and reduced to stuff like this.

The short has been released on DVD as an extra. IMDb says it's the 2007 release of The Jazz Singer, which I think would mean this set from the TCM Shop. It's also currently on Youtube here, although it's not in the public domain and the screenshot that accompanies the short (the one you'd see over in the sidebar) looks to be in rather poor quality.

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