It Happens Every Spring (1949)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport  |  June 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,290 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 6 critic

A scientist discovers a formula that makes a baseball which is repelled by wood. He promptly sets out to exploit his discovery.



(screen play), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
William Murphy ...
Tommy Isbell (as Bill Murphy)


A college professor is working on a long term experiment when a baseball comes through the window destroying all his glassware. The resultant fluid causes the baseball to be repelled by wood. Suddenly he realizes the possibilities and takes a leave of absence to go to St. Louis to pitch in the big leagues where he becomes a star and propels the team to a World Series appearance. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Sci-Fi | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La solución fantástica  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although St. Louis at this time had a team in both Major League Baseball leagues. National League team is St. Louis Cardinals and American League was the St. Louis Browns. The cities in which the unnamed St. Louis opposing teams, plays are cities with teams in both leagues or with a National League team only. See more »


When in the lab as the professor tries to hit the baseball hanging by the string, it's obvious that the string is being jerked up. If the ball moved up on its own, the string would go limp since it can only resist tension, not compression. See more »


[after a janitor saw catcher, Monk Lanigan's hair "crackle"]
Sweeper Outside Carob Hotel: Excuse me, boss, I need a drink!
[after his remark he quickly left as if in extreme fear]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the movie's introductory song concludes, an Albert Einstein quote shows for ten to fifteen seconds. It is: "The results of scientific research very often force a change in the philosophical view of problems which extend far beyond the restricted domain of science itself." Albert Einstein's name is all capital letters, below the quote or remark, as ALBERT EINSTEIN. Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld co-authored book, "The Evolution of Physics". See more »


Referenced in The Screen Writer (1950) See more »


It Happens Every Spring
(1949) (uncredited)
Music by Josef Myrow
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Sung by a duet during the opening credits
Played occasionally in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

On the mound
8 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This delightful comedy is seldom seen on cable. The Fox channel is a great source for these neglected and forgotten films that still produce a lot of fun to viewers, young and old. Lloyd Bacon directed this movie with a lot of flair. There are some insanely funny moments in the film, based on Valentine Davis' screen play.

Chemistry professor Vernon Simpson, working on a small midwest university, discovers as a fluke, that one of his projects produce a rejection of wood when rubbed in an object; that object being the baseball that almost destroys his lab. Professor Simpson's passion is the national pastime, which we see him hearing a broadcast during one of his classes. Simpson is also in love with the beautiful Debby Greenleaf, the daughter of the president of the university.

Vernon decides to try his hand as a pitcher, now that he has the secret, as he feels his beloved Saint Louis Cardinals can use him. As the mysterious King Kelly, Vernon proves to be an asset to his team. The catcher, Monk Lanigan, is his roommate. The two men develop an easy friendship. Lanigan, like anyone else, is puzzled by the way Kelly can pitch, even at his age. When Lanigan wants to know what does King keep in a tiny bottle in his dresser, and he is told it's hair tonic, which he proceeds to use himself, with magical results. He even gives some of it to the manager, not knowing is the secret formula that King uses to throw those magical pitches.

As Vernon/King, Ray Milland makes a wonderful appearance in the film. His chemistry with Paul Douglas, the catcher and roommate, is unique. Both stars are amazing together and this is what makes the comedy a winning and sunny time at the movies because of the fun we experience in watching them perform. Jean Peters is also good as Debby, the girl that conquered Vernon's heart. Ray Collins, Ed Begley and Jessie Royce Landis do excellent supporting work.

"It Happens Every Spring" is a sunny comedy that proves to be a lot of fun.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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