Saturday, June 10, 2017

FRANCIS GOES TO THE RACES - Francis The Talking Mule (1951)

 Today was the the running of the 149th Belmont Stakes, the third part of The Triple Crown that includes that Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont is the oldest of the trio, and was first run in 1867! That's really freakin' amazing, and the last few years I've taken a real interest in horse racing, knowing that one of these days I'm assured to win a fortune, but it's also a game of patience, and not as easy as it looks! I'll keep you posted if it ever happens!

That being said, welcome to another Saturday Night Special in The Dungeon, and a movie that combines two things I like, horse racing and naive/innocent 1950's comedies,
"Francis Goes To The Races!"

Army buddies!
 If you've been there, you get it, and if you haven't, you don't, even if you think you do!

Hard to believe but after all those years together, Francis ditches his Army buddy for the companionship of his second cousin!!

Francis was not actually even a male mule, but instead was a much easier to handle female mule named Molly! Molly played Francis in all the 'Francis The Talking Mule' movies, and was once a guest on the TV show "What's My Line?" As an animal lover, I hope they treated her good! The method they used to make her look like she's talking doesn't sound very friendly!

Piper Laurie is the daughter of the man who owns the horse that Francis is attached to, and of course, her name is Frances! The #1 horse also feels the same about Francis, and needs him around even at the big races!

If Piper looks a little familiar, it's because she was also the not so sweet and innocent anymore Catherine Martell in the original "Twin Peaks!

This is the exact reason I don't like ground floor tickets at concerts! I had seats just like this at a Tom Petty concert one time!

Francis's best friend is singer/dancer Donald O'Connor as Peter Stirling! Donald was in six of the seven 'Francis The Talking Mule' movies, and was popular enough to be in a TV show called "The Donald O'Connor Show!"

"Francis Goes To The Races" was the second of seven 'Francis The Talking Mule' movies! The last one, "Francis In The Haunted House" was the only one that had Mickey Rooney as Francis's buddy!

If you're familiar with the term 'horse's ass,' then you should well know what a mule's ass is going to signify!

Even though they also have machines these days, you'd be surprised how much betting at the track hasn't changed in 63 years! In fact, it's almost exactly the same, except the windows are more universal!

The always incredible Jesse White is the track dick! He can't comprehend how Peter Stirling can be winning so much money when he seems like such a nincompoop! If you've ever seen any TV show from 1953 to 1996, then you've probably seen Jesse's mug before! He's one of a kind and unforgettable!

Here's another great shot of Piper Laurie!

These mugs also can't figure out how Peter is able to win so consistently!

Chill Wills is the voice of Francis, and his drunken voice is used to good effect when Francis tells Peter to pour a bunch of whiskey and beer into bucket, when he needs a break from everything that's going on around him!

As it turns out, the only time that Francis is willing to talk to strangers is when he is drunk! Imagine that! The other Frances faints a couple of times!

I've got an F hat, but I want one of those F shirts!!


Lacey said...

The Francis series was one of those staples independent TV stations use to show on Sunday Mornings. Before Videotape made them valuable again, these movies were almost Public Domain, cheap, and just what small time TV stations needed to fill airtime. These, the Blondie series, and Ma & Pa Kettle (the original Beverly Hillbillies) were all there was for a kid to watch early Sunday mornings.


EEGAH!! said...

Thanx Lace, don't be surprised if you see some Ma & Pa Kettle pop up around here soon too, because they also have a place in my heart! Innocent humor, it's almost become a lost art!

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