Pop Clark is about to lose his baseball team, unless they can win the pennant so he can pay off debts. He hires ace player Larry Kelly to ensure the victory. As well as rival teams, ...
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Pop Clark is about to lose his baseball team, unless they can win the pennant so he can pay off debts. He hires ace player Larry Kelly to ensure the victory. As well as rival teams, mobsters are trying to prevent the wins, and as the pennant race nears the end, Pop's star players begin to be killed, on and off the field. Can Larry romance Pop's daughter, win enough games, and still have time to stop a murderer before he strikes more than three times? Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Filmed at L.A.'s Wrigley Field and the old Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. Several ballplayers appear, including the Cardinals' real center fielder Ernie Orsatti, who is shot "by the camera" as he crosses the plate. See more »
In a final scene, Young and Evans finally embrace and will soon have the kiss that ends this corny movie. But as they embrace, you see Robert Young's wedding ring on his hand. More than once. See more »
The Stars and Stripes Forever
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the stadium band on opening day See more »
A passable time passer centered around America's pastime
This is an OK film. If you have 70 minutes to kill, this isn't something you'll regret killing them with, but it won't stick with you years later.
The film centers on a series of bizarre murders of top players on a losing St. Louis baseball team. The owner (David Landau as Pop Clark) has mortgaged everything to recruit pitcher Larry (Robert Young). If the season is bad he loses everything to his creditors. There is "the obvious suspect" in one particular gangster and gambler who seems unhappy about the improving stats of the St. Louis team with Larry on the mound, but that's the point. He seems just a little too obvious.
The first criminal thing to happen is that a tire on the car that Larry is riding in being shot out. The car rolls over and Larry could have been killed, but he's not, and that doesn't seem to have been the intention. There are clearly at least two people involved in this first shooting, but they are anonymous. All of the crimes that follow are actually murders or attempted murders and very un-gangland like - poison being substituted for mustard, a player being strangled with the murderer's bare hands, etc. So, Larry, now recovered, is the team's only hope of winning the pennant. Will he play or will he stay safe? Watch and find out.
This film is noteworthy for several reasons. For one, it really is a mystery as to who is doing all of this, as the gangland gambler is the only obvious suspect, and keeps the film interesting. It also gives David Landau, who played so many villains, a chance to play a good but crusty fellow for a change. Paul Kelly as a newspaperman who is investigating the murders as much as he is covering the team by the time the film is over is always a welcome sight with his likable wise-guy persona. The police are certainly messing up this investigation, so it is good to have Kelly on the case.
And now the not so good stuff. The romance between Pop's daughter (Madge Evans) and Larry falls flat as a pancake. There is zero chemistry there - Gable and Harlow these two are not. They were both good supporting players, but until Robert Young took on his TV roles when he was older, I just never thought much of him as a leading man, particularly over at MGM. Then there is Ted Healy. He is just not funny. When he cut the Three Stooges loose it was the best thing that could have happened to them.
I'd still recommend it for the murder mystery.
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