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 <email@example.com>
All the uncredited roles of major league players were played by current or former professional baseball players. 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 »
Frank X. Farrell:
[Talking on the phone]
Hello, hello, operator! Hello, get me the tailor again! The tailor! The what? Alright then, get me the valet. I want my pants! My pants! He must be there, he's got my pants! Listen, listen, operator, I've got to meet somebody and I need those pants!
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Alibi Ike is adapted by Ring Lardner from his short story about an apocryphal pitching wunderkind who never tells the truth when an alibi will do, especially about his true feelings. Lardner took some of the edge off his original wit in attempting to adapt it to the slapstick talents of Joe E. Brown and it loses its punch in the process. Brown is lively enough, however, to engender enough good will to watch the fast-moving film to the end. Frawley is a standout as the manager, and Karnes, Harvey, and Dehavilland head a splendid supporting cast. If you have any tolerance for slapstick, this is pleasant enough fluff.
Yet, the most interesting thing about the movie is that the climactic scene in the movie takes place at a NIGHT game at a then-recently-built Wrigley field. For many years, until the last 80's, Wrigley was the only stadium which had no lights installed, and no scheduled night games. Apparently, I have come to learn just yesterday, that many teams, including the Cubs, experimented with temporary lighting for occasional big games at night, in the mid-30's, until Ebbets Field in Brooklyn became the first stadium with permanently installed lights in 1938. Still, it seems strange to watch a night game at Wrigley as it was in 1935. For that alone, baseball fans will find this worth watching. One final note, in real life, the Cubs went from cellar-dwellers in '34 to NL champs in '35 which is exactly what the movie reflected, even though the film was in the can by July of 1935, and there was no way that Enright and company could have known that the Cubs would win the pennant that year. Interesting. 6 of 10.
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