Indecisive heiress Dee Dee Dillwood is pushed into marrying her sixth fiancée, but unable to face the wedding night, she flees into the adjacent hotel room of commercial pilot Marvin Payne,... See full summary »
The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.
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
Baseball means little to me, living in Scotland, so it was with some ignorance of the sport's finer points that I approached this lesser known James Stewart vehicle. Whilst ball-game live-action, with some real-life baseball personalities in the cast, does play a major part in the movie, the underlying story is simply a true tale of overcoming unexpected adversity, a prototype role Stewart delivered time and again in his distinguished career. Following on from the above, Monty Stratton as a sporting hero means nothing to me so I have no idea how far Hollywood bowdlerised the story, so I'll take the narrative at face value and give kudos where they are due to a well-paced film, with natural dialogue and well-crafted scenes, even the baseball match recreations. Stewart's "pitching action" looks natural and he acts his disability convincingly. The Stewart/Allyson pairing gets its first outing here and their natural playing and obvious simpatico from the start has you rooting for them both all the way through. The support is equally strongly played, particularly Agnes Moorehead playing her stock-in-trade "Whistler's Mother" come to life. The direction by Sam Wood is sure and I particularly appreciated the sensitivity shown in the lengthy scenes where Stewart initially broods and gives in to the loss of his leg before Allyson, in a memorable scene, encourages him to fight his disability and helps him achieve his self-respect as well as his place back at the pitching mound. In the main though, as ever, it's Stewart in all his drawling, winking, glory who garners your sympathy from the "Play ball" of a very entertaining family film. It's interesting too, to see his playing of the Stratton part as the unwitting precursor to his more celebrated part as an invalid in the later classic "Rear Window".
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