Former baseball player Bill Johnson, portrayed by William Bendix, failing at many jobs when his ball-playing days are over, reluctantly takes the advice of his father-in-law, Jonah Evans (...
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Former baseball player Bill Johnson, portrayed by 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bill Johnson loves baseball, so much that his following causes him to be fired from many jobs and starts to drive his wife, Betty, nuts. Bill's father in law, a former big league umpire, enrolls him in an umpire school, but Bill's main pastime at ball games is to yell at umpires so he doesn't embrace the idea. Bill does his best to get the coach at the school to send him home, but does later see the importance of umpires in the game and starts taking the game seriously. He graduates and is assigned, with his friend Roscoe Snooker, to the Texas League, where he painfully finds out how seriously Texans take their baseball. Bill calls a close play at the plate in a championship game and the home team fans want his head and Bill has to find a way to umpire the next game without getting killed beforehand. This was a very enjoyable movie with a fun and pleasant script. Bendix and D'Andrea having the same chemistry and performances from their Life of Riley days, while Merkel, Collins, and Frawley are fine support. Decent special effects camera-work with Bendix having to see double at times. A real treat. Rating, 8.
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