“Tip on a Dead Jockey” (1957), is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tue, April 29, 2014 11:00 PM est. Not closed captioned.
Tip on a Dead Jockey looks at the plight of a veteran pilot who is suffering from what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder. Lloyd Tredman (Robert Taylor) has decided to drift along in life, hiding away from family and friends in Madrid. His wife (Dorothy Malone) was about to divorce him, at his request, but changes her mind and goes after her man. Taylor is living on the fringes of Madrid society, giving rowdy parties and avoiding work. He is also carrying on a mild flirtation with his neighbor (Gia Scala) wife of his service buddy (Jack Lord). After losing his shirt when a jockey is killed during a race, Taylor is handed an offer by Martin Gabel–a simple matter of flying some currency from one point to another–illegal but not dangerous. He at first refuses then accepts the offer to save Lord from doing it and becoming a criminal. Taylor has to overcome his terror of flying to help his friend. Marcel Dalio provides some comic relief as does Joyce Jameson as a drunken lady who doesn’t know how she ended up in Taylor’s bed. Nothing goes smoothly, of course, drugs enter the picture and Taylor has to decide what he will or will not do. The film was originally scheduled to be directed by Orson Welles but he dropped out and Richard Thorpe took over. Not a great film but solid entertainment done professionally by a very good cast. Review by me for TCM.