The brash and abusive manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team receives the help of an angel to win games and to become a better person in the process.The brash and abusive manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team receives the help of an angel to win games and to become a better person in the process.The brash and abusive manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team receives the help of an angel to win games and to become a better person in the process.
Paul Douglas played Guffy McGovern, the manager of the sad-sack Pittsburgh Pirates - a bad joke around the world of baseball. McGovern is mean and demanding to his players, abusive toward the umpires (this being a family movie, I love the very innocent and even humorous way that he's depicted swearing) and he's involved in a long running feud with broadcaster Fred Bayles (Keenan Wynne.) But there's a little girl named Bridget in an orphanage run by nuns who prays for the Pirates and McGovern every day. Her prayers get heard, and all of a sudden heaven is on the Pirates' side. There aren't just angels in the outfield - they're in the infield, in the dugout and sitting on the scoreboard, too. And with the help of the angels the Pirates are transformed into contenders. But when, partly the result of stories written by reporter Jennifer Paige (a very young and beautiful Janet Leigh), people find out that McGovern is consorting with these heavenly beings - well, all hell breaks loose. Suddenly, Bayles has evidence that McGovern is crazy, the Commissioner of Baseball holds a hearing. My gosh, you'd have thought this was about Pete Rose gambling again.
It's a very innocent movie - quaint even - when sports wasn't quite the big business it is today and when society wasn't quite as cynical about the stars. It's humorous - but not over the top - and Donna Corcoran (who plays Bridget) is an adorable 8 year old baseball fan who just wants the Pirates to win. On occasion it's even thoughtful - there's some commentary on the debate between belief and disbelief, but - as with most other things in this movie - there's no heavy duty religious content. The baseball action is even pretty well done. Perhaps it turns a bit overly sweet toward the end, but basically, this is a very enjoyable movie - perhaps not the best baseball movie ever made ("Pride Of The Yankees" still holds that place in my books), but quite well done. (7/10)
- Feb 13, 2016