26 July 2010 | bkoganbing
From Dogs To Horses
More than any other studio Warner Brothers loved remaking their old films, especially after the Code went into place when they could recycle the plots and make more of a G rated version of the same film. That's what was done to Edward G. Robinson's Dark Hazard remade in this case to Wine, Women, and Horses. That last part was the change as the Robinson film centered around dog racing.
Barton MacLane steps into the lead as a unregenerate gambling man who likes all the things in the title, not necessarily in that order all the time. This man bets on everything from horses to horseshoes. After winning a match from Dick Purcell, but feeling sorry for him, Purcell takes him home to meet his sister Peggy Bates. The two hit it off and MacLane tries to reform, but it just isn't in his nature. Especially after MacLane's old girlfriend Ann Sheridan steps into the picture.
Wine, Women, and Horses is a decently made product from Warner Brothers B picture unit under Bryan Foy who cast his brother Charley in one of the supporting roles. MacLane who was usually a nasally voiced thug in films whether a bad guy or an occasional good guy is cast in one of the few sympathetic parts I ever saw him in back in the studio days. He does love Bates, but the gambling urge is too strong in him.
One reason this film is not shown that often is the many casual references in racist terminology to black players in the film. Not unfriendly mind you, but in casual conversation.
The racetrack atmosphere is authentic with newsreel footage mixed into the movie. The film is also one big commercial for the fairly new Santa Anita racetrack only open for a few seasons at that point. If you can stomach the casual racism than Wine, Women And Horses is not a bad film.