Original film title in Malay: Kaki Kuda
English title: Horse Crazy
Directed by Kidar Sharma
Written by Ralph Modder (original story)
Starring: Saloma, Normadiah, Aziz Sattar, S. Shamsuddin
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)
Run Run Shaw’s villa (11, Holland Hill)
Singapore Turf Club (Bukit Timah)
It had to happen. Being horse racing enthusiasts, the Shaw brothers (Runme and Run Run) wouldn’t miss the chance to get their film studios in Singapore to produce a movie or two that centered on horse racing and betting, and send their film crews to shoot on location at the Singapore Turf Club at Bukit Timah, the Shaws’ favourite local haunt to indulge their hobby. (Before Kaki Kuda, the Turf Club had already been featured in scenes from Malay Film Productions’ Kembar/1950 and Azimat/1958.) Between them, the two brothers owned racing stables in Malaya and Australia, with about 55 horses during the time when Kaki Kuda was being made. At one stage, Runme Shaw even owned almost 70 horses, and topped the winning owners’ table for a record nine consecutive seasons (1951-1959).
Based on a story written by Ralph Modder (after his success with Sergeant Hassan), Kaki Kuda was likely a pet project of the Shaw Brothers, since they employed Kidar Sharma – already an acclaimed filmmaker from India by then – especially to direct the comedy film; it turned out to be the only film that he would make in Singapore. The movie’s rather brash narrative, laden with marginally crude jokes and suggestive antics, surrounds a wealthy tycoon who is addicted to horseracing and horse betting. (He lives in Holland Hill, a rich man’s enclave; Run Run Shaw’s villa at 11, Holland Hill “masqueraded” as his house in the film.) The tycoon’s driver impersonates him to get hitched to his love interest. His syce at the horse stables is a friend of the driver, and he too pretends to be a doctor and falls for the lady he administers “treatment” on.
1. ‘The Shaw Story’. The Singapore Free Press. 29 April 1958, p. 3.
2. ‘Perkataan2 Menyentoh Perasaan’. Berita Harian. 28 November 1958, p. 7.
2. ‘Shaw – former kingpin of the turf’. The Straits Times. 5 March 1985, p. 43.
3. Amir Muhammad, 120 Malay Movies (pp. 136-138). Petaling Jaya: Matahari Books, 2010.
4. Singapore Turf Club, ‘Fifty Years at Bukit Timah (1933-1983)’, Singapore: Singapore Turf Club, 1983.
5. Singapore Turf Club. Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board, 2004.
© 1958 Malay Film Productions
© Music Valley
Digital Map Source:
Great Britain. Royal Air Force, Singapore photomap, National Library of Australia, MAP G8041.A4 s6 1950. [http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-vn502375]
© 2013 Toh Hun Ping