Back to top

Going Places (1938)

This is the film where Louis Armstrong sings "Jeepers Creepers" to a racehorse of the same name. Ah, great moments in movie history...

"Going Places" is a silly, lightweight, nonsensical comedy-musical from Warner Brothers. Certainly not to be seen for its profundity, or for its insights into the racing industry. Dick Powell as the salesman who poses as a jockey and finds he has to actually ride a horse in a race. Ronald Reagan has fourth billing in this film, and proves yet again that his acting improved after he was elected to the White House.

Louis Armstrong's love song to a horse was bizarre enough (though undoubtedly classier than Michael Jackson with Ben the mouse), but the comic highlight of the film is the scene where the song "What A Horse Was Charley" comes together. It reminded me a lot of the Ritz Brothers, who were of course big at around the same time. The question: Dick Powell is Jimmy, Harry or Al? Same question for Allen Jenkins et al...

It would be remiss, however, not to mention that the prevailing racial stereotypes of the era are there. Even Louis Armstrong plays a stablehand in this film.

"Going Places" was, apparently, the fourth screen adaptation of a play by Victor Mapes and William Collier called "The Hottentot". The fourth. Makes you wonder about the other three.

My rating on IMDb (out of 10): 6. I saw this film on "Turner Classic Movies" on December 12, 2002.