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Rookie pitcher Francis "Ike" Farrell comes seemingly out of nowhere to help the Cubs go for the pennant. His idiosyncratic ways, which include excuses and alibis for everything, drive his manager and fiancee crazy in this baseball farce. Written by
Jerry Milani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The plot hinges on the lights being turned out at the Chicago Cubs' ballpark during a night game, so the hero can change into a uniform. Wrigley Field, the Cubs' home field, did not have lights installed until 1988. See more »
Well, Cap, what's your idea about the club this season?
You couldn't send my ideas about this club through the mail.
So, you don't think they look so promising. eh?
Sure, they look promising. Promising to finish eighth!
See more »
Alibi Ike is a mildly amusing baseball comedy based on Ring Lardner's character of a pitcher with an excuse for everything. It's a pretty good example of Joe E. Brown's hayseed type character at the height of his popularity. And of course because A Midsummer Night's Dream was held up in release, Alibi Ike marks the debut of Olivia DeHavilland on the silver screen.
Although Olivia has little enough to do in this film which is strictly a Joe E. Brown show, she's one pretty thing here. She was only 19 when she made this film and would have to wait through another film besides this one and the Max Reinhardt extravaganza before settling into her Warner Brothers niche as crinolined heroine, yearning for Errol Flynn to win her as he did in Captain Blood.
Joe E. Brown took naturally to this role, possibly because he was known as a very big baseball fan in real life. Playing his ever harried manager in Alibi Ike is William Frawley who in real life was also known as a baseball aficionado. Brown's son, Joe L. Brown didn't follow his father into show business, he became a well respected baseball executive best known as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates world championship team of 1960.
It's worth seeing the film alone to see how Joe E. Brown does that exaggerated windmill windup when he pitches. Funny as all get out, but in real life, a runner with the speed of Ernie Lombardi would have stolen two bases on him. Who's Ernie Lombardi, a Hall of Fame catcher with the Cincinnati Reds during this same period who was a legend for his lack of speed.
For baseball fans, and baseball film fans, make sure you don't miss this.
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