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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Casey's Shadow (1978)



Reviews and Comments

Walter Matthau is at his best in this film about a down and out racehorse trainer trying to raise three boys on his own. He's got plenty of great dialogue, and yet some of the warmest and funniest moments are wordless. The film's final shot is wonderful, but would it have worked with any face but Matthau's?

The film is unusually knowledgeable about horse training, which it demonstrates not just with accuracy but detail. The authenticity with which it handles the world of horseracing reassures us that we're not just watching a manufactured story but a glimpse of a real world. The film doesn't shy away from the ugliness in that world, but it is ultimately a heartwarming tale as the story is not so much about that ugliness as the struggle of a man to stick to his principles and still make ends meet.