Groucho Marx, sans his brothers and in his last leading screen role, plays a Navy man who helps slow-witted pal William Bendix divest himself of Little Erin, a broken-down race horse bought on impulse with an inheritance windfall. Divine Providence (or writer-director Chester Erskine) allows that the nag is also a twin, but its more capable sibling, Little Shamrock, already has an owner in zaftig carhop Marie Wilson. Their efforts to first sell Erin to stable owner Don DeFore – who falls for Wilson – and then swap Erin for Shamrock attract the attention of gangsters (led by diminutive Teddy Hart as “High Life”), horse-nappers and Fifth Column types before the concluding race brings matters to something resembling a conclusion. Groucho and Bendix do what they can – their ridiculous Southern gentlemen routine is amusing – but neither can save this slope-browed comedy, co-produced by future disaster movie mogul Irwin Allen, which all too often adopts a leering, possessive tone in regard to its female cast members; scenes of Groucho and Bendix – who were 62 and 46 at the time of filming – making eyes at Wilson play as Creepy Grandpa behavior, and far beneath the talents these performers, even in this past-their-prime stage of their career A palate cleanser is provided by the supporting cast, dotted with familiar mugs like rusty-hinge-voiced character actor Percy Helton, patron saint of pint-sized oddballs everywhere, as Wilson’s fuming boss, as well as future Fred Flinstone voice Henry Corden and the ubiquitous Dave Willock as a sour-pussed sailor. Warner Archives Collection’s fullframe DVD showcases the cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca (an Oscar nominee for “I Remember Mama”), which also lends a degree of polish.
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