Tuesday, May 7, 2024


Taking up immediately where the original film ends, FRANCIS GOES TO THE RACES finds the kind-hearted dummy Peter Stirling (Donald O’Connor) and his shit-talking buddy Francis hanging out at a racetrack.  Peter has the hots for the granddaughter (Piper Laurie) of a local thoroughbred owner but he fails so fantastically at flirting with her that he ends up nearly being fitted for “cement slippers” by a local crime boss!  Francis has to save the day.

Obviously, FRANCIS GOES TO THE RACES isn’t going to be the height of Cinema, but for entertainment, I was completely satisfied.  And I was impressed by the performances of the entire cast.  Literally everybody played the entire thing straight.  The overall tone of the film felt serious and it worked because it made the shit-talking by Francis just that much more humorous.

The only negative thing I have to say about FRANCIS GOES TO THE RACES is early on in the film Francis wanted to split up with Peter.  That made me sad and really depressed, but eventually Francis changed his mind and they were buddies again.  That made me happy, but I was still sad.

I know this is dumb, but the shot at 1:30 of Francis and Peter walking down the road side-by-side reminded me of the original opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show made 9 years later.

Part 1 - Francis (1950)
Part 3 - Francis Goes to West Point (1952)
Part 4 - Francis Covers the Big Town (1953)
Part 5 - Francis Joins the WACS (1954)
Part 6 - Francis in the Navy (1955)
Part 7 - Francis in the Haunted House (1956)