Friday, February 16, 2018

Flick Friday: It Happens Every Spring

We go way back for today's flick, It Happens Every Spring.  This comedy was released in 1949. 

Vernon Simpson is a struggling college chemistry professor.  He is also a big baseball fan and each spring his mind wanders off of school and onto the diamond.

He's been developing a formula for a chemical that would keep insects and rodents from penetrating trees.  It is nearly finished and would allow him to earn enough money to marry his girlfriend, Debbie, who is also his student and the daughter of the college president.

An errant baseball comes crashing through his laboratory window and ruins his formula.  He figures he's ruined.  Instead he discovers that the ball that smashed his window got covered with his chemical and is now resistant to wood.  When he tries to hit the ball with a tree branch, the ball jumps over the wood, never making contact.

Simpson decides to leave the college and head to St. Louis, to help his team win the pennant.  He get a tryout, strikes out everyone, and becomes a pitcher.  Not wanting to be discovered by the college he left behind, he names himself King Kelly.

The team assigns a veteran catcher, Monk, to watch over the oddball Kelly.  Kelly has great success, though later Debbie discovers who he really is.  He eventually wins 38 games for St. Louis, leading them to the World Series.  He takes the mound for game seven and....'ll have to watch the movie to find out how it ends.

It's a mildly entertaining story, though in today's world it would never fly.  He cheats by doctoring up a ball and he's dating a student.  No, not today.

The baseball in the movie is not very good.  The teams are always referred to by city only, not by name.  We assume that the St.Louis team is in the National League because they play Brooklyn.  The uniforms are very simple, with no attempt at authenticity.

The majority of the baseball scenes were filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.  Those retangular windows in the upper deck are unique to that old park.

Here's a look at a generic "Chicago" player.

Check out the Philadelphia Stadium.  That's actually Wrigley Field with the marquee getting doctored.

This is a scene from when St. Louis was playing New York in the World Series.  It too, is obviously Wrigley Field.  There were several times when stock footage of the Cubs was used in the movie.

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