Friday, September 28, 2018

Casey's Shadow (1978)

Walter Matthau Movie #5 (yes, that is one sun-bleached, and marked-up VHS clamshell package)
Synopsis: It’s nearly two hours of Walter Matthau wearing a cowboy hat and yelling at a bunch of kids about riding a horse. 
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A funny and touching story for the whole family about an irascible, impoverished horse trainer, Lloyd Bourdelle (Walter Matthau) and his three sons.” 
What Did I Learn?: Race horses are extremely fragile creatures, so they should never, ever be ridden. 
Really?: 1) Hmm….I realize Lloyd wants to make a name for himself as a trainer, but gee…I don’t know how many people would turn down the opportunity to pocket 50 grand AND protect the well-being of a beloved animal. 2) Was it necessary for Lloyd to have three sons? It’s obvious that Buddy is the wheeler-dealer, and Casey is the youngest who loves his horses, but the script doesn’t do much to develop Randy, the middle child. 
Rating: Casey’s Shadow is a nice, yet forgettable (and surprisingly foul-mouthed) low-budget family movie that owes a lot to Matthau’s basic likeability, even though it’s odd to see him as an impoverished Cajun horse trainer who seems a little too old to have sired the youngest two of his three kids. The film provides an interesting look at the world of quarter horse racing, and a couple of touching moments, but it really drags near the end. 6/10 stars.

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