Fanatic5 - Family Passions
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In My Father's Memory

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The Golden Age of Movies (1939 - 1969)

The 1950's

The end of World War II brought thousands of young servicemen back to America to pick up their lives and start new families in new homes with new jobs. With an energy never before experienced, industry expanded to meet the needs of a peacetime America. People began buying goods not available during the war, creating huge corporate expansion and plentiful jobs. Growth was everywhere! The baby boom was underway.....

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The Original - My Favorite Baseball Movie
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Classic Baseball Movies

 

If the opening of Spring Training or the Fall Classic always make you nostalgic for the good old days, here is a look at my favorite baseball movies. The films are listed in chronological order:

Pride of the Yankees (1942). Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig in one of the greatest sports movies of all time. Nominated for best picture. With Teresa Wright and Walter Brennan, plus real ballplayers Babe Ruth, Joe McCarthy and Bill Dickey.

The Kid from Cleveland (1949). Fans will enjoy seeing Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Satchell Paige, Hank Greenberg, Tris Speaker and other real players. Starring George Brent, Lynn Bari, Ann Doran, Tommy Cook and Russ Tamblyn. 

The Stratton Story (1949). Tells the tale of White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost his leg at age 26. Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson play Stratton and his wife. With Frank Morgan and real players Jimmy Dykes, Bill Dickey, Spec Shea, Ted Lyons, Luke Appling and Gene Beardon.

 

It Happens Every Spring (1949). Ray Milland stars as a physics professor who invents a rare substance that makes a baseball impossible to hit and becomes an immediate pitching sensation. Great comedy with many special effects. Stars Paul Douglas, Jean Peters, Ed Begley and Ray Collins. Filmed at L.A.'s Wrigley Field.

 

The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). Jackie plays himself in the story of the first black major league player. With Ruby Dee and Louise Beavers.

 

Angels in the Outfield (1951). The original film is a true fantasy with angels from heaven looking out for the dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates. Stars Paul Douglas (as manager Guffy McGovern), Janet Leigh, Donna Corcoran and Keenan Wynn. Cameos by Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio and Bing Crosby. Shot at Forbes Field (Pittsburgh).

 

The Winning Team (1952). Ronald Reagan plays famed pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. With Doris Day, plus real players Bob Lemon, Hank Sauer, Irv Noren, Gerry Priddy, Al Zarilla, "Peanuts" Lowery, George Metkovich and Gene Mauch.

 

The Pride of St. Louis (1952). The story of Dizzy Dean played by Dan Dailey. Richard Crenna co-stars as brother Paul. With Joanne Dru and Chet Huntley. Filmed at L.A.'s Wrigley Field.

 

The Kid From Left Field (1953). Dan Dailey stars as "Pop" Cooper, an ex-ballplayer turned ballpark vendor whose temper has kept him from a managing job. Through a strange twist of events, he manages (by proxy) through his young son. The film is simple, but nicely captures the atmosphere of the ballpark. Co-stars Lloyd Bridges, Anne Bancroft, Billy Chapin and Ray Collins. Also features ex-Indian John Berardino (star of General Hospital), umpire John "Beans" Reardon, announcer Hank Scott (later the host of TV's Home Run Derby in 1959) and Fess Parker (Disney's Davey Crockett). Filmed at L.A.'s Wrigley Field.

 

Fear Strikes Out (1957). Anthony Perkins plays Jimmy Piersall in a somewhat fictional but engrossing account of the ballplayer's mental breakdown during his early years with the Boston Red Sox. With Karl Malden as Jimmy's father.

 

Safe At Home! (1962). Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris star in this film about a young boy who lies about his dad's relationship with the two stars. Timed to take advantage of Roger's 61-home-run year. With William Frawley, plus manager Ralph Houk and Whitey Ford. Filmed on location in Ft. Lauderdale during spring training (1962) after Roger's big 61 home run season.

 

Don't Look Back (1981). Stars Louis Gossett Jr. as Leroy "Satchel" Paige in a TV made movie about the life of the Negro League pitcher who made it to the big leagues at the end of his career.

 

The Natural (1984). This movie is to baseball as "Casablanca" was to World War II. Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, with Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Barbara Hershey, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Robert Proskey, Joe Don Baker and Darren McGavin. Based on the novel by Bernard Malamud. Filmed in Buffalo and South Dayton (NY).

 

Bull Durham (1988). Kevin Costner stars as Crash Davis, a catcher in the twilight of his career who is given the job of watching out for young pitching stud "Nuke" LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins. With Susan Sarandon.

 

Eight Men Out (1988). Portrays the story of the 1919 Black Sox World Series betting scandal involving "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. With John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Charlie Sheen, John Mahoney, D.B. Sweeny, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Rooker, Perry Lang, James Read, Bill Irwin, Kevin Tighe, Studs Terkel and John Anderson.

 

Field Of Dreams (1989). Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field telling him "If you build it, he will come." He interprets this as a message to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from baseball for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose of his field. Nominated for Best Picture. Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster, Timothy Busfield, Gaby Hoffman and Ray Liotta.

 

Major League (1989). Funny film about a Cleveland Indians team put together by their owner with the express purpose of losing, who defy the odds and win anyway. With Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Rene Russo and Wesley Snipes.

 

A League of Their Own (1992). Story of the Woman's Professional Baseball League created during World War II to fill the void left by the male ballplayers who were in the military. With Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanaugh, Rosie O'Donnell, Renee Coleman, Ann Cusack, Tracy Reiner, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni and Bill Pullman.

 

Other Recent Baseball Movies

  • Rookie of the Year (1993)
  • Mr. Baseball (1993)
  • The Sandlot (1994)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1994)
  • Little Big League (1994)
  • Major League II (1994)
  • Cobb (1994)
  • The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998)
  • Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)
  • For the Love of the Game (1999)
  • Perfect Game (2000)
  • Summer Catch (2001)
  • 61* (2001)
  • A Little Inside (2001)
  • The Rookie (2002)
  • The Winning Season (2004)
  • Hustle (2004)
  • Mr. 3000 (2004)
  • Fever Pitch (2005)
  • Game 6 (2005)
  • Chasing 3000 (2007)

   

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Pop Fisher: You know my mama wanted me to be a farmer.
Roy Hobbs:
My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.
Pop Fisher: Well you're better than any player I ever had. And you're the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.
 
The Natural (1984)
 
 

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Ernie Capadino: I'm Ernie Capadino. I'm a baseball scout. I saw you playing today. Not bad, not bad. You ever heard of Walter Harvey, makes Harvey bars - you know, the candy?
Dottie Hinson: Yeah. We feed them to the cows when they're constipated.
Ernie Capadino: That's the guy. He's starting a girls' baseball league, so he can make a buck while the boys are overseas. Wanna play?
Dottie Hinson: Huh?
Ernie Capadino: Nice retort. Tryouts are in Chicago. It's a real league, professional.
Kit Keller: Professional - baseball?
Ernie Capadino: Mmm-hmm. They'll pay you 75 dollars a week.
Kit Keller: We only make 30 at the dairy.
Ernie Capadino: Well then, this would be more, wouldn't it?
 
A League of Their Own (1992)

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 Bright Victory
1951
 
Larry Nevins (Arthur Kennedy), a blinded World War II veteran, is discharged from the army General Hospital in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. A patient nurse (Peggy Dow) has helped him regain confidence and overcome both his feelings and his disability. He returns home and attempts to adapt to civilian life. Unfortunately, neither his parents (Will Geer/Nana Bryant) or fiancee (Julia Adams) can cope with his affliction, leaving bitterness and anger.
 
Bright Victory, based on the brilliant novel by Baynard Kendrick, is one of the best "against all odds" films of the 1950's. Arthur Kennedy's performance won him the "New York Critics' Circle" award, but not the Oscar he deserved.

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Peggy Dow & Arthur Kennedy "Bright Victory"

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1951 Movie Theatre (Wichita, Kansas)

Most Notable Movies:
  • Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • It's A Wonderful Life (1946) 
  • Duel in the Sun (1946)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • A Place in the Sun (1951)
  • Bright Victory (1951) 
  • Niagara (1953)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • From Here to Eternity (1953)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • East of Eden (1955)
  • Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
  • Underwater (1955)
  • Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1955) 
  • Strategic Air Command (1955)
  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955)  
  • Marty (1955)
  • The Opposite Sex (1956)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Vertigo (1958) 
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960) 
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) 
  • Cape Fear (1962)
  • The Longest Day (1962)
  • The Great Escape (1963)
  • The Train (1964)
  • Shenandoah (1965)
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
  • The Professionals (1966)
  • The Blue Max (1966) 
  • Wait Until Dark (1967)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • The Flim-Flam Man (1967) 
  • Bullitt (1968)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)

 

"The first day I arrived, they told me to go home and get rid of that cold."
 
June Allyson

Strategic Air Command (1955)
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June Allyson & Jimmy Stewart

~  Jimmy Stewart  ~
 
Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Stewart was an "Academy Award" winning actor with a gentle, small town demeanor, allowing him to portray various characters over a long and distinguished career.
 
A popular star since the 1940's, Stewart had many great movies including "Rear Window" and "It's a Wonderful Life." Many of his films from the 1950's, were frequently under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock.
 
While so many other great stars seemed remote and larger than life, Stewart never lost touch with his humanity, projecting an uncommon sense of goodness and decency, which made him immensely likable and endearing to countless generations of movie fans.
 
In his hometown, a statue was erected at the Indiana County Courthouse on May 20, 1983 to celebrate his 75th birthday. In 1995, The "Jimmy Stewart Museum" was opened as a tribute to his life and career. He is missed by all who admired his work and his exemplary life. My favorite actor!

"From old Celtic mythology; a fairy spirit in animal form, always very large. The pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one. A benign but mischievous creature, very fond of rumpots, crackpots.....and how are you, Mr. Wilson?"

 

Wilson (Jesse White) - Harvey 1950

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Click Here for the Jimmy Stewart Museum

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to a theatre near you . . . . .

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Montgomery Clift & Elizabeth Taylor
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A Place in the Sun (1951)

Steve McQueen "Bullitt"
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1968 Fastback Mustang GT 390

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Marilyn Monroe "Niagara" (1953)

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The Flim-Flam Man (1967)

 
Film Noir: Meaning "black film" is a style popular to American cinema during the 1940's and 1950's, in which the darker side of human nature is presented in a bleak, urban setting. The 1955 movie "Kiss Me Deadly" is an excellent example of this technique, highlighted by the opening credits running backwards.

 

~  My Tribute To  ~

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The Three Stooges were a comedy act in the mid 1900's. More commonly known by their first names, Larry, Moe, Curly and later Shemp, they became famous for their work in movies and starred in many short features consisting of masterful ways to showcase their extremely physical and controversial brand of slapstick comedy. The group made nearly 200 comedy "shorts" between 1934 and 1958. The first 97 "shorts" featured the original trio of Larry, Moe and Curly. Shemp later replaced his brother Curly due to illness. My favorite comedy act since childhood.

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Lobby Cards:

 

Lobby cards were first produced in April of 1913. The standard size lobby card (11" x 14") was normally issued in sets of 8, although sets of 4, 10, 12 or 16 were also released. Each card in the set would have different artwork featuring scenes from the film. Quite often, a lobby card set would have a "title" card that would give credit information. The remaining seven cards featured movie artwork. When displayed as a set, the lobby cards would give a pictorial synopsis of the film.

 

Many lobby card sets were numbered so they could be placed in sequence. The title card was always first with the other cards numbered to follow. Prior to the 1960's, the lobby card number was usually placed in the corner of the card. After the 1960's, lobby card numbers were printed on the bottom border in typewriter style. Not all lobby cards were numbered. While lobby card sets were phased out of the United States theatres in the mid-1980's, lobby cards are still produced in English for major productions and shipped for international use.

 

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."

 

Henry David Thoreau

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