7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
For it's 1, 2, 3 angels out at the old... ball... game!,
This review is from: Angels in the Outfield (1951) (DVD)
Clarence Brown's charming family flick ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD was remade in 1994 with Danny Glover as lead. This 1951 version is superior, however.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are the losingest team in American sports history. As of late 2009, they've finished under .500 for 17 straight seasons. In 1951 (the year this film was released) their won-lost record was a dismal 64-90. No wonder then that this tale of angelic intervention was so popular, especially in the Steel City!
Here, Miss Leigh plays a girl reporter who blames the Pirates' dismal luck on their caustic manager Paul Douglas. When foul-mouthed Douglas starts hearing a divine voice (Whitmore) he vows to change his nasty ways if it will help the team. Sure enough, Pittsburgh goes on a winning streak! An orphan girl (and diehard Pirates fan) claims she can see angels on the field actively helping her team out. In fact, these spirits are deceased all-star players whose assistance may abruptly end if Douglas can't live up to his word.
Fans of baseball history will love this picture for several reasons: it's filmed at old Forbes Field, there's game footage plus cameos of Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner (who slugs a homer) and Ty Cobb (considered by many the greatest baseballer of all time). Also here is Bing Crosby (he owned 15% of the team), songwriter Harry Ruby, Barbara Billingsley (as a hatcheck girl) and Peter Graves (radio announcer). Ed Wood fave Tor Johnson is seen as a wrestler on TV.
Another fine baseball-related film released in '51 is RHUBARB. He's a feral cat that through inheritance becomes team owner/mascot of the Brooklyn franchise. Rhubarb's presence at games proves a lucky charm for the Brooklyns.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(7.1) Angels in the Outfield (1951) - Paul Douglas/Janet Leigh/Keenan Wynn/Donna Corcoran/Lewis Stone/Spring Byington/Bruce Bennett/Marvin Kaplan/Ellen Corby (uncredited: Barbara Billingsley/Bing Crosby/Peter Graves/James Whitmore/Tor Johnson/Harry Ruby/Joe DiMaggio/Ralph Kiner/Ty Cobb)