Review: ‘Boots Malone’

Plot deals with the relationship between Johnny Stewart, a 15-year-old who loves horses, and William Holden, a jockey's agent down on his luck. Story is run off against an authentic racetrack background, drawing a good picture of the less prosperous side of racing and the hanger-ons.

Plot deals with the relationship between Johnny Stewart, a 15-year-old who loves horses, and William Holden, a jockey’s agent down on his luck. Story is run off against an authentic racetrack background, drawing a good picture of the less prosperous side of racing and the hanger-ons.

Stewart appears as a rich boy neglected by his career mother. He takes up with Holden, who decides to go along with the kid as long as his money holds out by pretending to teach him how to be a winning jockey. Their scenes together are very effective. Yarn picks up faster drama when the mother locates her son and tries to prevent his riding debut, while Holden is faced with the problem of talking the boy into losing or be killed by a gambling syndicate that is betting on another horse in the race.

As producer-writer, Milton Holmes has told the story with good emotional moments and sentiment without being maudlin. This handling also is reflected in the direction by William Dieterle.

Boots Malone

Production

Columbia. Director William Dieterle; Producer Milton Holmes; Screenplay Milton Holmes; Camera Charles Lawton Jr.; Editor Al Clark; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Cary Odell

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

William Holden Johnny Stewart Stanley Clements Basil Ruysdael Carl Benton Reid Ed Begley

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