7.0/10
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35 user 9 critic

It Happens Every Spring (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport | June 1949 (USA)
A scientist discovers a formula that makes a baseball which is repelled by wood. He promptly sets out to exploit his discovery.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Valentine Davies (screen play), Shirley W. Smith (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Directors: Howard Hughes, Edmund Goulding, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Prof. Vernon K. Simpson / King Kelly
Jean Peters ... Deborah Greenleaf
Paul Douglas ... Monk Lanigan
Ed Begley ... Edgar Stone
Ted de Corsia ... Manager Jimmy Dolan
Ray Collins ... Prof. Alfred Greenleaf
Jessie Royce Landis ... Mrs. Greenleaf
Alan Hale Jr. ... Schmidt
William Murphy ... Tommy Isbell (as Bill Murphy)
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Storyline

A college professor is working on a long term experiment when a baseball comes through the window destroying all his glassware. The resultant fluid causes the baseball to be repelled by wood. Suddenly he realizes the possibilities and takes a leave of absence to go to St. Louis to pitch in the big leagues where he becomes a star and propels the team to a World Series appearance. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La solución fantástica See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although St. Louis at this time had a team in both Major League Baseball leagues. National League team is St. Louis Cardinals and American League was the St. Louis Browns. The cities in which the unnamed St. Louis opposing teams, plays are cities with teams in both leagues or with a National League team only. See more »

Goofs

Kelly's pitch violates the laws of physics. Assuming arguendo that a chemical exists that avoids wood, when a ball with that substance on it approaches the plate and the batter swings, the ball would change its trajectory either up or down to avoid the wood and would then continue on that new path. It would never "jump over" a swinging bat, then go back to its original trajectory. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Vernon K. Simpson aka King Kelly: [all were in Edgar Stone's office] No, I don't think so, Mr. Stone, I know it.
Edgar Stone: Know it? I have never met such bland conceit.
Manager Jimmy Dolan: I told you, he's a crackpot.
Edgar Stone: No he's not. He's just a conceited jackass.
Manager Jimmy Dolan: All right. You talk to him. I'm going to batting practice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the movie's introductory song concludes, an Albert Einstein quote shows for ten to fifteen seconds. It is: "The results of scientific research very often force a change in the philosophical view of problems which extend far beyond the restricted domain of science itself." Albert Einstein's name is all capital letters, below the quote or remark, as ALBERT EINSTEIN. Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld co-authored book, "The Evolution of Physics". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Screen Writer (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Harry M. Woods
Played when St. Louis takes the field after Monk hurts his finger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sports and sci-fi -- together in one film!
19 December 2003 | by Bruce_CookSee all my reviews

In addition to being an enjoyable romantic comedy, this is actually a tidy little sci-fi yarn that foreshadows the 1950s sci-fi craze that began just two years later.

Ray Milland stars as an underpaid college professor who can't marry fiance' Jean Peters because he's so poor. Fame and fortune will be his, however, if he succeeds with his experimental attempts to develop a solution that causes wood to repel termites (what a concept!). But a baseball crashes through his laboratory window and destroys his equipment, botching up the solution during it's final mixing stage. Milland ends up with something very different than what he intended to make: a liquid that repels wood. He soaks a baseball in the solution and discovers that no bat can touch it!

Unfortunately he can't duplicate the accident that created the solution, so he only has one small bottle of it. Milland conceives a bold money-making scheme; he applies for a job as a rookie pitcher with a down-on-their-luck team. Using solution-soaked baseballs that repel bats, Milland throws impossible-to-hit pitches, and soon his low-ranked team becomes serious contenders for the pennant!

The special effects of the baseball hopping and looping over the bat are terrific (and the ball makes the same sound as Gort's ray in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", another 20th Century Fox film that came out two years later).

There's plenty of laughs in this imaginative, well-played little classic. Paul Douglas does a fine job as Milland's roommate and the team's catcher. Directed by Lloyd Bacon from a witty screenplay by Valentine Davies.


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