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The Babe Ruth Story (1948)

The famed slugger is played by Bendix, who resembles Ruth slightly in looks and not at all in baseball ability. The film traces the "life and times" of Ruth, including his famous "called ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Bob Considine (from the book), Bob Considine (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Bendix ... George Herman 'Babe' Ruth
Claire Trevor ... Claire Hodgson Ruth
Charles Bickford ... Brother Matthias
Sam Levene ... Phil Conrad
William Frawley ... Jack Dunn
Gertrude Niesen ... Nightclub Singer
Fred Lightner Fred Lightner ... Miller Huggins
Stanley Clements ... Western Union Boy
Robert Ellis ... Babe Ruth as a Boy (as Bobby Ellis)
Lloyd Gough ... Gambler Dalton
Matt Briggs ... Colonel Jacob Ruppert
Paul Cavanagh ... Dr. Menzies
Warren Douglas ... Boston Braves' Rookie
Pat Flaherty ... Bill Carrigan, Red Sox Manager
Mark Koenig Mark Koenig ... Mark Koenig
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Storyline

The famed slugger is played by Bendix, who resembles Ruth slightly in looks and not at all in baseball ability. The film traces the "life and times" of Ruth, including his famous "called shot" in the 1932 World Series. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America's most beloved guy!..... His life! His times! His triumphs! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A História de Babe Ruth See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roy Del Ruth Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film required William Bendix to learn to bat left-handed and to pitch "southpaw." See more »

Goofs

While the movie is ripe with factual errors, some of the ones associated with the Yankees 1927 season are probably the worst. Home uniforms are depicted as white with pinstripes with the word "YANKEES" on the front. In fact, the home uniforms had nothing on them...only the away uniforms...in gray...carried the word "YANKEES" on the front. Mel Allen is depicted broadcasting the game where Ruth hits his 60th home run. In fact, the Yankees regular season games were not broadcast until 1939 and Mel Allen was only 14 in 1927. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Wired (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Singin' in the Rain
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Performed by William Bendix and cast in a night club scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A little better now -- should be re-made
2 February 2007 | by caa821See all my reviews

Some have rightly criticized this movie as being a glossed-over, fictionalized, lower-budget presentation of Babe Ruth, while "The Pride of the Yankees" afforded teammate Gehrig a big-budget, A-list-cast project.

However, both were off the proverbial "mark." Gehrig was not quite the totally-affable individual Gary Cooper portrayed, and his mother not quite the "Aunt Bea" type shown.

Babe Ruth was a larger-than-life persona, bawdy, irreverent, and a national icon which, in more recent times, have only seen perhaps Muhammed Ali and Michael Jordan afforded anything close to the equal amount of acclaim. And one must always remember these two have had the benefit of television, including dozens of cable/satellite venues, and far greater electronic and print media than Ruth ever knew.

There is an interesting film clip I've seen many times. Ruth (who batted third) is rounding third base and going to home plate after hitting a home run, while Gehrig (waiting to bat fourth), has his back completely turned, ignoring him, much less shaking his hand. These two were not on speaking terms for significant amounts of time while teammates - far different from the tone of either of their biographies.

This is quite a fictionalized movie, however, few biopics of this era - sports or otherwise - weren't. But it should be noted that Ruth, now well past a half century since his tragic illness and death, and much further beyond his prime - still has led "Athlete of the Century" and similar lists, with only fore-mentioned Ali and Jordan (along with Jim Thorpe) as close contenders.

I, for one, would like to see a film which would present both Ruth and Gehrig, in a realistic style, made today. Dennis Quaid, after putting on a few pounds, and a little padding and makeup, could portray Ruth. He's left-handed, and can portray a baseball athlete (ala "The Rookie," playing a role of a character a decade younger than he), with Costner as Gehrig. Kevin also can handle a bat and ball (Gary Cooper, playing Gehrig, had the baseball talent of a 12-year-old, and the film had to be shown in-reverse to make him appear left-handed. While Costner is right-handed, his athleticism and better techniques today could overcome this).

They are a little longer-in-tooth now (who isn't?), but both are in excellent shape, look younger than they are, and modern techniques and makeup should be able to overcome any problems of their playing "younger."

Personally, I think a first-class film with two major stars, playing Ruth and Gehrig, in a story presenting the harder edges of their personalities, relationship, family lives, etc. - as well as all the positive aspects we've seen before - could be an amazing flick.

Finally, this film is a lot better now, not because its story or presentation have improved - but for its nostalgic view of 1940's film, and the baseball locations and scenes as they were then.


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