Straight Place and Show (1938)

66 or 68 mins | Comedy | 30 September 1938

Full page view
HISTORY

The title card for this film in the opening credits reads, "Damon Runyon's Straight Place and Show ." Runyon and Caesar's play was originally called Blue Plate Special , and it was based on Runyon's short story, "That Ever Loving Wife of Mine" in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1931). According to news items, in Nov 1936, Twentieth Century-Fox paid Runyon and Caesar $50,000 for the motion picture rights to their unproduced play Saratoga Chips . This was said to be the highest price paid to date for an unproduced play. It originally was to be used as a vehicle for Eddie Cantor, with Laurence Schwab producing and Leonard Praskins writing the screenplay. News items beginning in Apr 1938 reported that Darryl Zanuck was having the story rewritten for the Ritz Brothers. Robert Allen is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. Paul Hurst is listed as a cast member in a MPH "In the Cutting Room" article, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a news item, a second unit shot for a week at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, ... More Less

The title card for this film in the opening credits reads, "Damon Runyon's Straight Place and Show ." Runyon and Caesar's play was originally called Blue Plate Special , and it was based on Runyon's short story, "That Ever Loving Wife of Mine" in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1931). According to news items, in Nov 1936, Twentieth Century-Fox paid Runyon and Caesar $50,000 for the motion picture rights to their unproduced play Saratoga Chips . This was said to be the highest price paid to date for an unproduced play. It originally was to be used as a vehicle for Eddie Cantor, with Laurence Schwab producing and Leonard Praskins writing the screenplay. News items beginning in Apr 1938 reported that Darryl Zanuck was having the story rewritten for the Ritz Brothers. Robert Allen is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. Paul Hurst is listed as a cast member in a MPH "In the Cutting Room" article, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a news item, a second unit shot for a week at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, CA. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1-Oct-38
---
Daily Variety
8 Jun 38
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Sep 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
29 Sep 38
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 38
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 38
p. 1, 5
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 38
p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
2-Apr-38
---
Motion Picture Daily
29 Sep 38
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Aug 38
p. 65.
Motion Picture Herald
1 Oct 38
p. 38.
New York Times
23-May-37
---
New York Times
1-May-38
---
New York Times
1 Oct 38
p. 10.
Variety
2-Jun-37
---
Variety
28 Sep 38
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Addl dial
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
DANCE
Dances staged by
Dances staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to prod
2d unit asst
2d unit asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the unproduced play Saratoga Chips by Damon Runyon and Irving Caesar.
SONGS
"With You on My Mind" and "Why Not String Along with Me?" words and music by Lew Brown and Lew Pollack
special song material by Sid Kuller, Ray Golden and Jule Styne.
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Damon Runyon's Straight Place and Show
Release Date:
30 September 1938
Production Date:
25 May--early July 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 September 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8523
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66 or 68
Length(in feet):
6,100
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4443
SYNOPSIS

Barbara Drake, a "society horsewoman," arrives two hours late to a country club party held in honor of her engagement to the "noted gentleman rider," Denny Paine, because she rode in a van with her beloved horse "Playboy." Denny complains that her whole life revolves around the horse, and they have an argument. When the Ritz Brothers, who own a "Wild West" pony ride, overhear Braddock, an influential horseman, place a $1,000 bet on a horse named "Yankee," they hurry to the track, but mistakenly place a ten dollar bet on Playboy, rather than on Yankee. Playboy wins, and the brothers make over $3,000. After they purchase a convertible, the brothers learn that Playboy will be running again, so they call their bookie to place a $500 bet on him. Meanwhile, Denny demands that Babs either give up Playboy or him, and then challenges her to a bet: if Playboy does not win a stake race in the next three months, she must give him the horse and consent to marry him. Babs laughingly agrees, but Playboy does not win another race, to the dismay of the Ritz Brothers, and Babs gives the horse to Denny. As he is transporting the horse, his van gets a flat tire. Playboy escapes and stops to investigate the Ritz Brothers' ponies. Seeing that Playboy likes it there, Denny gives the brothers the horse with the stipulation that they do not sell or give Playboy to anyone else. The brothers soon find that Playboy is a natural jumper. When Babs learns that Denny gave her horse to a pony ride, she worries that Playboy will be ... +


Barbara Drake, a "society horsewoman," arrives two hours late to a country club party held in honor of her engagement to the "noted gentleman rider," Denny Paine, because she rode in a van with her beloved horse "Playboy." Denny complains that her whole life revolves around the horse, and they have an argument. When the Ritz Brothers, who own a "Wild West" pony ride, overhear Braddock, an influential horseman, place a $1,000 bet on a horse named "Yankee," they hurry to the track, but mistakenly place a ten dollar bet on Playboy, rather than on Yankee. Playboy wins, and the brothers make over $3,000. After they purchase a convertible, the brothers learn that Playboy will be running again, so they call their bookie to place a $500 bet on him. Meanwhile, Denny demands that Babs either give up Playboy or him, and then challenges her to a bet: if Playboy does not win a stake race in the next three months, she must give him the horse and consent to marry him. Babs laughingly agrees, but Playboy does not win another race, to the dismay of the Ritz Brothers, and Babs gives the horse to Denny. As he is transporting the horse, his van gets a flat tire. Playboy escapes and stops to investigate the Ritz Brothers' ponies. Seeing that Playboy likes it there, Denny gives the brothers the horse with the stipulation that they do not sell or give Playboy to anyone else. The brothers soon find that Playboy is a natural jumper. When Babs learns that Denny gave her horse to a pony ride, she worries that Playboy will be beaten and kicked. Infuriated, she breaks her engagement to Denny and then locates the Ritz Brothers. When she learns about Playboy's jumping ability, she offers to pay the $1,000 entry fee, and they agree to give her twenty-five percent of the horse. Babs then cables her friend, Linda Tyler, and asks for a loan in return for allowing her to pursue Denny, in whom Linda has been interested. Linda, however, calls Babs's father, and Drake cuts off Babs's allowance. After Babs fails to get money from friends because of Denny's interference, Harry Ritz talks a wrestling promoter into paying him $1,000 to wrestle "Terrible Turk." Turk has Harry nearly pinned, but one of Harry's brothers switches off the lights, while the other knocks out Turk with a hammer. As the lights go on, Harry is on top of Turk, and he wins. On the day of the race, Denny, who now wants Babs to win, learns that the famous Russian Borukoff Brothers will ride. Fearing that one of them will win, Denny warns the Ritz Brothers and offers to ride Playboy himself. When the Ritzes overhear the Borukoffs' plan to use dirty tricks against Denny, they lock the Russians up, steal their uniforms and take their places in the race. Babs fears that Denny will make Playboy lose, but Linda convinces her that he is racing to prove his love for her. During the race, after two of the Ritz Brothers fall off their horses, Harry goes into the lead despite all his efforts to lose, including blindfolding the horse. When Harry sees that the horse loses ground every time he jumps, he makes the horse repeatedly jump during the stretch, and Denny wins. Denny kisses Babs for the photographers, while the Ritz Brothers convalesce in an ambulance. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
with songs, Horse race


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.