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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ray Milland coats a majority of baseballs he pitches with his special chemical solution from a pad hidden inside his glove. Although the movie never indicates how long the coating on a ball remains effective, baseball fans know that the umpire replaces the baseball after about each foul ball and approximately six pitches. So, there was little chance that Milland's coated baseballs might accidentally end up in the hands of the opposing team's pitcher, allowing him pitch the same hopping curve balls that Milland was able to throw. See more »
When King Kelly relieves the pitcher in his debut game, the scoreboard reads Chicago 6, St. Louis (Kelly's team) 7, top of the sixth inning, with no outs. After Kelly retires one batter, his team leaves the field and celebrates their victory as they change out of their uniforms in the locker room. Perhaps, the game was one that rain had postponed, the previous day, when Vernon was strongly wanting to become a baseball pitcher, without any rookie team practice. Or there was an off-screen decision, among the managers, that the game was shortened to six innings, because Saint Louis had a weak team, and could not go nine innings and win a majority of their games, until Vernon Simpson, aka King Kelly was tested and accepted. See more »
[During a conversation with Professor Greenleaf, Professor Joe Forsythe verbally says this movie's title, in the last sentence, as their conversation concludes, word for word]
Prof. Joe Fosythe:
It happens every spring.
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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 »
In addition to being an enjoyable romantic comedy, this is actually a tidy little sci-fi yarn that foreshadows the 1950s sci-fi craze that began just two years later.
Ray Milland stars as an underpaid college professor who can't marry fiance' Jean Peters because he's so poor. Fame and fortune will be his, however, if he succeeds with his experimental attempts to develop a solution that causes wood to repel termites (what a concept!). But a baseball crashes through his laboratory window and destroys his equipment, botching up the solution during it's final mixing stage. Milland ends up with something very different than what he intended to make: a liquid that repels wood. He soaks a baseball in the solution and discovers that no bat can touch it!
Unfortunately he can't duplicate the accident that created the solution, so he only has one small bottle of it. Milland conceives a bold money-making scheme; he applies for a job as a rookie pitcher with a down-on-their-luck team. Using solution-soaked baseballs that repel bats, Milland throws impossible-to-hit pitches, and soon his low-ranked team becomes serious contenders for the pennant!
The special effects of the baseball hopping and looping over the bat are terrific (and the ball makes the same sound as Gort's ray in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", another 20th Century Fox film that came out two years later).
There's plenty of laughs in this imaginative, well-played little classic. Paul Douglas does a fine job as Milland's roommate and the team's catcher. Directed by Lloyd Bacon from a witty screenplay by Valentine Davies.
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