The Dark Horse (1932)

Passed   |    |  Comedy


The Dark Horse (1932) Poster

Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.


7/10
1,012

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2 December 2011 | bkoganbing
8
| Too Stupid To Steal
One of the reasons that I decided to watch this film today when it was broadcast was the splendid cast. The Dark Horse anticipates what Preston Sturges did with The Great McGinty and it's quite a commentary on what occasionally gets elected now and then due to astute political management and the gullibility of the voting public.

Looking down the cast list nearly everyone in it is cast in roles I've come to expect to see them play. The title role in The Dark Horse is played by Guy Kibbee as he's nominated by one of the parties because they're deadlocked at the convention between better candidates. Kibbee is absolutely priceless as the dumber than a post county coroner the party has as its candidate. Well they've got him and the only way to put him over is get the best campaign manager around even if he's in the slam.

Which is where Warren William is even if its for owing back alimony to ex-wife Vivienne Osborne. William takes his Dave the Dude character from Lady For A Day and proceeds to make Kibbee the favorite in the race for governor. Kibbee's very dumbness is programmed to work in his favor, his slogan could have been elect Kibbee, he's too stupid to steal.

The opposition candidate is Berton Churchill playing another one of his patented pompous windbags. The prospect of seeing Kibbee in a race against Churchill is what really attracted me to this film and I was not disappointed. Churchill and his party may be down, but not out and they've got some tricks up their sleeve. And those tricks involve Kibbee and Osborne.

The only one who is wasted really is Bette Davis. She plays Warren William's loyal and efficient secretary who loves him. She does her best with a traditional good girl role, but there isn't much for her to work with. Vivienne Osborne gives the ex-wife part the kind of bite we normally find in Bette Davis films later on.

The Dark Horse is a really crackerjack political film that deserves to be better known.

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