Story: Frankie Reynolds (Frankie Darro) thinks he has found the deal of a lifetime, a horse for sale and the asking price is under five dollars. Of course, this horse happens to be broken down and no one seems to think it has much value, other than perhaps a trip to the glue factory. But Frankie sees potential in the horse and believes it could be a champion, so he borrows some cash and finds himself in the horserace business, though his chances seem bleak. So he begins to train and care for his horse, named Trouble and over time, the horse strengthens under his superb care. He is even able to get together enough to enter a race and despite all the odds, he wins. But when the mafia gets involved and Frankie learns how the track really works, is this the end of his winning streak?
Entertainment Value: Racing Blood was a poverty row production that is watchable, but doesn’t offer much beyond a basic cinematic experience. The narrative is fine, not the most original, but it serves it purposes and holds interest well enough. You can tell resources for the production were beyond limited, so it lacks the polish of some pictures, though it doesn’t impact things too badly, it just reins in some of the ambition perhaps. Which explains the simple, basic approach taken and the lack of bold choices, since the funds weren’t there for big risks or memorable set pieces. The race horse footage is likely to entertain fans of the sport and to me, Racing Blood has historical value based on that alone, a snapshot of a time and place that is interesting to observe. I do think there’s passable entertainment here as well, as the cast is fun to watch and clocking in at around an hour, it doesn’t overstay its welcome and the pace is never drawn out. So while Racing Blood might not dazzle, it is more than watchable and especially Frankie Darro fans will be interested.
Frankie Darro has the lead here and as usual, he gets into all kinds fights and arguments, which is fun to watch. He has a fun performance here and really goes for it when the fights pick up, including some rather humorous moments where he goes over the top. While comical, it doesn’t hurt the movie at all and honestly, the silliness was a welcome inclusion when its present. As far as dramatic skills, Darro is fine, but isn’t called on to do much in this one. But if you’re a fan of his, this is likely to provide some fun and entertainment, since he is spirited in the role here. Arthur Housman steals some scenes however, as a really enthusiastic drunk that never seems to take a break from the sauce. The cast also includes Kane Richmond, Gladys Blake, and Fred “Snowflake” Toones.
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