Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Take Me Out to the Ball Gametake-me-out-to-the-ball-game-movie-poster-1949-1020435076
Directed by Busby Berkeley
Written by Harry Tugend and George Wells from a story by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen
1949/USA
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
First viewing/Netflix rental

 

Eddie O’Brien: Oh, Miss Higgins! You’re the prettiest manager in baseball.

K.C. Higgins: You’re certainly the prettiest shortstop.

MGM puts two-thirds of the cast of On the Town together with Esther Williams for a mighty derivative musical on the old baseball diamond.

Eddie O’Brien (Gene Kelly), Dennis Ryan ( Frank Sinatra) and Nat Goldberg (Julius Munchen) are players on the Wolves, a turn-of-the-century baseball team.  Eddie and Dennis do a vaudeville act during the off season.  Eddie is a cocky womanizing braggart and Dennis is more the shy retiring type.

During spring training, the team hears the bad news that it has been inherited by K.C. Higgins, who intends to take an active role in management.  Lo and behold, it turns out that her given names are Katherine Catherine Higgins (Esther Williams) and she is a looker (and a dynamite swimmer).  Dennis immediately develops a crush on her but she and Eddie spar.  She gives Eddie a very bad time for breaking training.

take me out 1

In between musical numbers, Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett) spots skinny, little Dennis from the stands.  She lustily pursues him for the rest of the picture.  The last act drama comes when Eddie plays hooky to go to rehearsals for a show which, unbeknownst to him, is backed by gamblers who are betting against the team.  With Edward Arnold in a small role.

take me out 2

I was not crazy about On the Town and I liked this one less.  It has less story, more mugging, and the music is not as good.

Can you imagine a time when Sinatra was seen as a loser with the ladies?  It boggles the mind.

Clip – Finale

4 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

  1. Even though you weren’t over-impressed, I’m very curious about this one because I love both Sinatra and Kelly. Sounds as if Sinatra’s role here is a repeat of his part in ‘On the Town’! This film is not available in the UK because of the baseball theme, but I intend to get it on import soon! Enjoyed your review.

    • Well Kelly and Sinatra know how to sing and dance, that’s for sure! Everybody does their best. It’s the material I wasn’t crazy about.

    • It’s been a while since I saw it but I do remember that I liked it a lot despite it’s very silly and fluffy nature. But I’m a sucker for Esther Williams! If you like her, you have to see Fiesta! Esther is a matador! Good Gawd it’s hilarious!

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