Ex-baseball player Bill Johnson (William Bendix'), failing at many jobs when his ball-playing days are over, reluctantly takes the advice of his father-in-law, Jonah Evans (Ray Collins), a ... See full summary »
Ex-baseball player Bill Johnson (William Bendix'), failing at many jobs when his ball-playing days are over, reluctantly takes the advice of his father-in-law, Jonah Evans (Ray Collins), a retired umpire, and enters an umpire-training school. Assigned to the Texas League, he does fine until the championship play-offs when a riot develops over one of his calls. The involved player is knocked unconscious in the proceedings and cannot verify that Bill made the correct call. Despite lynch mob plans to at least tar-and-feather him, Bill's family - his daughters Lucy (Gloria Henry and Susan (Connie Marshall ) and his wife Betty (Una Merkel) - help Bill reach the ballpark safely the next day through a series of hair-raising encounters. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Rambunctious little comedy proving that Bendix could mug it up with the best of them. Baseball nut Johnson (Bendix) keeps losing jobs because of his baseball mania. So ex-umpire and Grandad (Ray Collins) pulls strings to get Johnson into ump's school. After graduation, the new ump is assigned to extra-tough Texas League, where he gets a big un-welcome, to say the least. Meanwhile, the gags and schticks fly fast and furious. That's no surprise, since the writer is cult favorite Frank Tashlin in one of his early outings. Note the number of sight gags, a Tashlin specialty. Also, veteran director Lloyd Bacon really knows how to keep a comedy from dragging, so there's never the proverbial dull moment. Keep your ears open because Tashlin and Bacon sneak in a couple of very un-1950's innuendos-- one with the crossed telephone wires, and the other which flies by quickly with the Indian pulling his fat wife on a travois. I had to re-run the tape twice to be sure I'd put that gag together correctly-- apparently it was fleeting enough to get by the censors. Anyway, the movie's related to the spate of occupation comedies of the period, all of which end in whirlwind madcap. I recall enjoying the film as a boy (even if I missed the innuendos) and am glad to discover that I enjoyed it as least as much as an oldster. Recommended.
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