6.8/10
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46 user 29 critic

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | April 1949 (USA)
Two turn-of-the-century baseball players, who work in vaudeville during the off-season, run into trouble with their team's new female owner and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Writers:

Harry Tugend (screenplay), George Wells (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frank Sinatra ... Dennis Ryan
Esther Williams ... K.C. Higgins
Gene Kelly ... Eddie O'Brien
Betty Garrett ... Shirley Delwyn
Edward Arnold ... Joe Lorgan
Jules Munshin ... Nat Goldberg
Richard Lane ... Michael Gilhuly
Tom Dugan ... Slappy Burke
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Storyline

The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. turns outs to be a beautiful woman who really knows her baseball. Second baseman Dennis Ryan promptly falls in love. But his playboy roommate Eddie O'Brien has his own notions about how to treat the new lady owner and some unsavory gamblers have their own ideas about how to handle Eddie. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Homerun Of Laughter, Romance And Fun See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La linda dictadora See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,725,970 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Kathryn Grayson was considered for the role of K.C. Higgins. See more »

Goofs

Theodore Roosevelt is portrayed as throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game. The practice of presidents throwing out the first pitch did not begin until the presidency of William Howard Taft, Roosevelt's successor. See more »

Quotes

K.C. Higgins: Aren't you ball players supposed to be in training?
Eddie O'Brien: Training? Who me? I don't believe in it.
K.C. Higgins: You don't say. Well, what time do you usually get in?
Eddie O'Brien: Well, we're supposed to be in by ten o'clock. But, well, it's all right for the other fellas; but, I usually get in about midnight - except, of course, when I have an extra special date and then I get in about two or three. Tonight, I could stay out till five.
K.C. Higgins: Really? Won't Mr. Gilhuly get mad?
Eddie O'Brien: Well, what I always say is, what the boss doesn't know, ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Music by Albert von Tilzer
Lyrics by Jack Norworth
Performed by Gene Kelly (uncredited) and Frank Sinatra (uncredited)
Reprised by Esther Williams (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Even with short-comings, charming, enchanting and immensely cheerful
14 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' is worth noting for the extraordinary talent in front of and behind the camera, and while all have done better this showcases their talents wonderfully.

It does have short-comings, but luckily they are far outweighed by 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game's' numerous pleasures. The film does end very abruptly and the build up does feel rather rushed, and while there are no problems to be had with the chemistry between Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra or Sinatra and Esther Williams, the latter one really does sparkle, the one between Kelly and Williams is pretty indifferent (Williams apparently was treated contemptuously by Kelly and Stanley Donen, and there are times where it shows).

On the other hand, 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' is ravishingly filmed in Technicolor with lavishly colourful sets and costumes that are not only superbly tailored but the colour co-ordination is eye-popping and clearly a lot of thought was put into it. There are definitely more memorable songs than the ones here, where the title song is the closest to being a hit, but they are certainly very pleasant and tuneful with wonderfully tongue-in-cheek lyrics. "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg", "The Right Girl for Me" and "It's Fate Baby" are also good. The choreography dazzles also, especially Kelly pulling all the stops out in his Irish solo number, the barn-storming "Strictly USA" and the wonderful chemistry between Kelly, Sinatra and the under-appreciated Jules Munshin.

With the script, there are some funny and witty lines, and while the story is very slight and drags in places it does enchant, charm and there is a constant sense of cheerfulness and fun. The direction is very accomplished throughout, shining especially in "Strictly USA". The performances are great, particularly from a scene-stealing and very funny Betty Garrett. Williams is also delightfully no-nonsense, and even with her troubles off-screen the role really does play to his strengths.

Kelly's character is very broadly drawn and almost like a clown, but Kelly's humour, charm and muscular athleticism stops him from becoming annoying. Sinatra sings an absolute dream and although his type of character isn't in his comfort zone he still appeals. Munshin shouldn't be overlooked in any way, he delights in "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg", while Edward Arnold is deliciously theatrical while never taking one out of the film.

Overall, hugely enjoyable though with short-comings. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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