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W.S. Van Dyke
The movie is about Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton (Jimmy Stewart), who in the 1930s, compiled a 37-19 won-loss record in three seasons. After he became the winningest right-hander in the American League, his major league career ended prematurely when a hunting accident in 1938 forced doctors to amputate his right leg. With a wooden leg and his wife Ethel's (June Allyson) help, Stratton made a successful minor league comeback in 1946, continuing to pitch in minor leagues throughout the rest of the 1940s and into the 1950s. Written by
Stewart-Allyson + Baseball History = Surefire Enjoyment
James Stewart brings his patented gusto to this portrayal of real-life pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost his leg in a hunting accident, but refused to give up, wearing a prosthetic leg as he made a comeback (Stratton went on to play in the minors from 1946-53). Stewart's frequent leading lady June Allyson plays his wife, who really did help Stratton make it back. If the movie never quite scales the heights of "Pride of the Yankees," it's not for lack of trying. Old pros Stewart and Allyson lift what might have been corny and even maudlin or predictable to a high level and something we believe and care about. And they deserve extra points for playing characters who were still living (and watching). Not many can do that, and do it well. Schmaltzy but moving and perfect in its own way. (Full disclosure: I still can't get over players who would lay down a bunt with Stratton on the mound.)
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