The Day the Bookies Wept (1939)

64 mins | Comedy | 15 September 1939

Director:

Leslie Goodwins

Producer:

Robert Sisk

Cinematographer:

Jack MacKenzie

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a HR pre-release news item, chase scenes were filmed on location in downtown Los Angeles at Second and Hill streets. Although a HR news item listed Chill Wills in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A letter contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the PCA warned RKO that "all 'razzberry' sounds throughout the script must be eliminated." The PCA also requested the removal of the action of "Brophy" winking at "Ernest" because of its "lewd connotation." Futhermore, in Aug 1939, the PCA informed RKO that it should eliminate the sequence showing a man watching Tom Kennedy mimicking a girl "and reacting as if he thought Kennedy was a ... More Less

According to a HR pre-release news item, chase scenes were filmed on location in downtown Los Angeles at Second and Hill streets. Although a HR news item listed Chill Wills in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A letter contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the PCA warned RKO that "all 'razzberry' sounds throughout the script must be eliminated." The PCA also requested the removal of the action of "Brophy" winking at "Ernest" because of its "lewd connotation." Futhermore, in Aug 1939, the PCA informed RKO that it should eliminate the sequence showing a man watching Tom Kennedy mimicking a girl "and reacting as if he thought Kennedy was a 'pansy.'" More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
18 Sep 39
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Sep 39
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jul 39
p. 55.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Sep 39
p. 39, 42
New York Times
14 Sep 39
p. 18.
Variety
20 Sep 39
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod exec
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit publicity wrt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Crazy Over Pigeons" by Daniel Fuchs in Collier's (29 Apr 1939).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 September 1939
Production Date:
23 June--13 July 1939
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 September 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9172
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5517
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Tired of losing their earnings every week to the bookies, New York taxi drivers Firpo and Brophy decide to take matters into their own hands by buying their own horse. To purchase and train the beast, the duo nominate fellow taxi driver Ernest Ambrose because of his experience raising pigeons. When they fail to convince Ernest to go to Kentucky for them, Firpo and Brophy hire a man to dress like a gorilla and frighten Ernest into having an accident, which they know will result in his termination at the cab company. Once fired, Ernest leaves his beloved pigeons in the care of his sweetheart Ina and journeys to Kentucky to attend the horse auction. Knowing nothing of horses, Ernest is tricked by a phony "Kentucky Colonel" into purchasing a worthless nag named "Hiccup," out of Bourbon by Distillery. Ernest then returns to New York, where he and his horse bed down at the Jamaica racetrack. After "Hiccup" establishes a miserable record by finishing his first race just as the next race is about to start, the odds begin steadily to rise against the steed. As the cabbies become impatient to recoup their investment, the colonel arrives and sees that the horse is entered at sixty-to-one odds. Ina threatens to call off their wedding if Ernest fails to win the next race and retire from horseracing, and overhears the colonel talking about "Hiccup's" fondness for alcohol and his plans to intoxicate the horse. Before the race begins, the colonel sends a keg of beer to the stable and then bets heavily on the horse. When Ina arrives and finds the horse drunk, ... +


Tired of losing their earnings every week to the bookies, New York taxi drivers Firpo and Brophy decide to take matters into their own hands by buying their own horse. To purchase and train the beast, the duo nominate fellow taxi driver Ernest Ambrose because of his experience raising pigeons. When they fail to convince Ernest to go to Kentucky for them, Firpo and Brophy hire a man to dress like a gorilla and frighten Ernest into having an accident, which they know will result in his termination at the cab company. Once fired, Ernest leaves his beloved pigeons in the care of his sweetheart Ina and journeys to Kentucky to attend the horse auction. Knowing nothing of horses, Ernest is tricked by a phony "Kentucky Colonel" into purchasing a worthless nag named "Hiccup," out of Bourbon by Distillery. Ernest then returns to New York, where he and his horse bed down at the Jamaica racetrack. After "Hiccup" establishes a miserable record by finishing his first race just as the next race is about to start, the odds begin steadily to rise against the steed. As the cabbies become impatient to recoup their investment, the colonel arrives and sees that the horse is entered at sixty-to-one odds. Ina threatens to call off their wedding if Ernest fails to win the next race and retire from horseracing, and overhears the colonel talking about "Hiccup's" fondness for alcohol and his plans to intoxicate the horse. Before the race begins, the colonel sends a keg of beer to the stable and then bets heavily on the horse. When Ina arrives and finds the horse drunk, she decides against betting the two thousand dollars that the cabbies had pooled. However, on her way from the stables, she meets the colonel, who informs her of the horse's peculiarities. Ina then bets the entire pot, and when "Hiccup" wins by eight lengths, the day finally arrives when the bookies weep. +

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

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