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Elmer, the Great (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance, Sport | 29 April 1933 (USA)
Country bumpkin Elmer Kane joins the Chicago Cubs as the greatest hitter in baseball. His skill with a bat takes the team to the World Series, but on the way to the championship he has to deal with gamblers and crooked pitchers.


Mervyn LeRoy


Ring Lardner (based on a play by), George M. Cohan (based on a play by) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Joe E. Brown ... Elmer Kane
Patricia Ellis ... Nellie Poole
Frank McHugh ... Healy High-Hips
Claire Dodd ... Evelyn Corey
Preston Foster ... Dave Walker (as Preston S. Foster)
Russell Hopton ... Whitey
Sterling Holloway ... Nick Kane (as Sterling Halloway)
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Kane
Charles C. Wilson ... Mr. Wade (as Charles Wilson)
Charles Delaney ... Johnny Abbott
Berton Churchill ... Colonel Moffitt
J. Carrol Naish ... Jerry (as J. Carroll Naish)
Gene Morgan ... Noonan


Elmer does not want to leave Gentryville, because Nellie is the one that he loves. Even when Mr. Wade of the Chicago Cubs comes to get him, it is only because Nellie spurns him that he goes. As always, Elmer is the king of batters and he wins game after game. When Nellie comes to see Elmer in Chicago, she sees him kissing Evelyn and she wants nothing to do with him anymore. So Healy takes him to a gambling club, where Elmer does not know that the chips are money. He finds that he owes the gamblers $5000 and they make him sign a note for it. Sad at losing Nellie, mad at his teammates and in debt to the gamblers, Elmer disappears as the Cubs are in the deciding game for the Series. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A pennant Winning Panic About Base ball and Blondes! (Print Ad- Bladen Journal, ((Elizabethtown, NC)) 8 June 1933) See more »


Comedy | Romance | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Like friend and contemporary Buster Keaton, Joe E. was an excellent athlete and acrobat, and, also like Keaton, had a love of baseball. Both men captained teams for charity and fund raising. See more »


When Elmer is playing at second base in the last game in the rain, there is a large mud puddle near the base. In the longer shots, the puddle is not there. See more »


Elmer Kane: Warm up? Hell, I ain't been cool since February!
See more »


Version of The Cowboy Quarterback (1939) See more »


(1917) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

User Reviews

Elmer Wins The World Serious
25 September 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Just as Dizzy Dean was lifting baseball braggadocio to a fine art as a pitcher, Warner Brothers came out with one of Joe E. Brown's best comedies in Elmer the Great. In real life Joe E. Brown was a very big baseball fan and this film along with his other baseball comedy, Alibi Ike, was a labor of love.

In 1933 the Chicago Cubs were not yet a national joke, going 98 years without winning a World Series and 62 years without being in one. They fielded some very good teams during the Thirties and Forties, but never quite could get to the top. In 1932 the year before Elmer the Great came out, they were in the World Series and were crushed by the selfsame New York Yankees four straight games which featured Babe Ruth's famous 'called shot' home run.

The Babe had nothing on Elmer Kane from Gentryville, Indiana who was not loath to let one and all know exactly what his contribution to the Cubs was going to be. He fulfilled his promise though, hitting 67 home runs in his rookie season, leaving Babe Ruth's mark in the dust. No one accused him of taking steroids either. In fact in real life both Jimmy Foxx and Hank Greenberg made serious runs at Ruth's record with seasons of 58 homers each during the Thirties.

But off the diamond, Joe is a real babe in the woods himself. He's caught between two girls, good girl Patricia Ellis and bad girl Claire Dodd. And the simpleton gets himself caught up in a gambling house where he drops $5000.00 to slick gambler Douglass Dumbrille. Of course with Brown's IOU in his pocket Dumbrille sees a chance for a killing in Brown not playing on the square during the World Serious as Brown calls it.

The last game of the World Serious is one of the funniest baseball sequences put on film. It was actually shot at Wrigley Field, but Wrigley Field in Los Angeles which housed the minor league team in the Pacific Coast League.

Preston Foster plays the Cubs manager and Frank McHugh Brown's best friend on the team. It's a very nice comedy for baseball fans and others and a good chance to become acquainted with the comedy of Joe E. Brown.

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Release Date:

29 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De Bom Tamanho See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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