3 April 2015 | wes-connors
Fun at the Racetrack
Naive blonde waitress Marie Wilson (as Jennie Jones) arrives from small-town Athens, Nebraska, intending to buy a racehorse named "Firefly". The beloved nag is descended from a horse owned by her grandfather. Unfortunately, Ms. Wilson gets involved with two con men, smooth-talking Allen Jenkins (as "Tip" Bailey) and his well-suited partner Charley Foy (as "Jinx" Donovan). After she is fleeced, Wilson gets a waitressing job. She is hired after hinting she may be available for dating after hours, on Saturday nights, with romantically-inclined boss Johnnie Davis (as Mark Downe). Wilson's luck changes with a winning "Irish Sweepstakes" ticket. In a highlight, she makes her serving tray fly. Wilson is able to buy "Firefly", but sneaky Mr. Jenkins wants to take further advantage...
Jenkins hits all the marks, and likely adds some of his own, in this otherwise routine comedy. With his distinctive voice, the character actor was dependable, for decades, in this type of role. Wilson is cute and bubbly; at times, you wonder if Judy Garland borrowed some of her delivery. Mugging jockey Frankie Burke (as "Chalky" Williams) has a couple of good scenes and, as a concerned landlady, veteran Vera Lewis gets to share some of her acid-tongue. Among the extras, it's interesting to see John Harron get some lines and screen time. The brother of silent D.W. Griffith "silent" star Robert Harron, John is the fast-talking Narragansett racetrack announcer. Diner chef Jerry Colonna rolls his eyes. All told, director William McGann neatly corrals the second-string cast and crew at Warner Bros.
****** Sweepstakes Winner (5/20/39) William McGann ~ Marie Wilson, Allen Jenkins, Johnnie Davis, Charley Foy