This tale of a small boy's substitution of a horse for his mother boasts several features which put it furlongs out in front of gush like The Champ: Ritt's solid feel for the milieu of the Louisiana horse-tracks, an interesting amount of the off-track dealings, but most of all Matthau's acidic performance as the boy's father, a Cajun no-hoper bucking for the big time, which always rescues the film when sentimentality threatens. Seems a shame to keep slagging off Ritt for his liberalism when he can turn in something as well-crafted and unpretentious as this. Nice New Orleans score, too. CPea.
Cast and crew
Andrew E Rubin