Rookie pitcher Francis "Ike" Farrell comes seemingly out of nowhere to help the Cubs go for the pennant. His idiosyncratic ways, which include excuses and alibis for everything, drive his manager and fiancee crazy in this baseball farce.Written by
Jerry Milani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When "Alibi Ike" was first released to TV in 1956, the sequences involving the gamblers and their attempts to have Ike "throw" the game were practically eliminated, reducing the length of the film by 20 minutes, unnoticed on commercial TV. The appearance of "Lefty", the head of the gambling syndicate, was reduced to just one scene as a spectator in the stands. Additionally, Ike arriving late for a game, enters the ballpark in a delivery vehicle that is towing autos. In the 50s edited version, what appears to be a usual prank on Ike's part is actually the result of Ike fleeing the gamblers. See more »
The plot hinges on the lights being turned out at the Chicago Cubs' ballpark during a night game, so the hero can change into a uniform. Wrigley Field, the Cubs' home field, did not have lights installed until 1988. See more »
Well, Cap, what's your idea about the club this season?
You couldn't send my ideas about this club through the mail.
So, you don't think they look so promising. eh?
Sure, they look promising. Promising to finish eighth!
See more »
The character of Alibi Ike was well known to the American public. There was not only Ring Lardner's short novel but a comic strip for a couple of years, with Ring Lardner as one of the strip's writers.
Lardner's prose was funny, but it was also an incisive exposure of the ignorance and bigotry of middle America of the 1920s. He was inditing a culture which was smug in its ignorance and prejudices. There is, of course, none of this in this Joe E. Brown comedy, designed mainly for Brown to do his familiar shtick while cruising along with a well used plot.
Warner Brothers was willing to bring social criticism into their films at this period (unlike the other studios), but they knew that it wouldn't work in a Joe E. Brown comedy. Brown's movies were designed for rural America (and were very successful), and rural America could laugh as Brown made fun of "citified ways", but they wouldn't have appreciated cogent criticism aimed at them. At least, they wouldn't have laughed.
So this is a fast comedy, pretty funny, especially for baseball fans and baseball historians.
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