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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

(1949 c 93')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Two baseball players who can sing and dance are attracted to the team's new owner, but a gambler tries to derail their pennant hopes.

Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) and Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and dance on stage. They take a train to Florida for spring training. Ryan likes baseball, but O'Brien prefers shows and girls. They join the team and sing "Yes Indeedy" about girls they claim they knew. Manager Michael Gilhuly (Richard Lane) says the team has a new owner.

K. C. Higgins (Esther Williams) arrives. O'Brien makes fun of Higgins while asking her out before he learns who she is. Higgins gives O'Brien advice on hitting, and he does better. At dinner Ryan, O'Brien, and Nat Goldberg (Jules Munshin) sing "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg." Higgins doubles the fine for staying out late. O'Brien and Goldberg urge Ryan to ask out Higgins. Ryan sings to her "The Right Girl for Me," but then he says goodnight. O'Brien tries his luck by apologizing to Higgins, who fines him $50.

During training Ryan tries to gain weight. On opening day O'Brien, Ryan, and Goldberg clown around, but Higgins objects. They argue with the umpire, but she stops them. Then she argues so much she is ejected. A fight starts, and Ryan is knocked out. Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett) likes him and sings "It's Fate, Baby, It's Fate."

The Wolves are leading the league, and Shirley invites the team to a clam bake. They sing "Strictly USA." Joe Lorgan (Edward Arnold) is betting against the Wolves. Shirley dances with Ryan, who likes Higgins. O'Brien tells Higgins that Ryan has been dreaming about her. O'Brien kisses her but says it was to win a bet. Ryan dances with Higgins, who is kissed by him with little effect. When Ryan kisses Shirley, she is dazed. O'Brien dances and sings "The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick's Day."

Lorgan offers O'Brien a job in his show with thirty girls, and O'Brien agrees to rehearse at night. The Wolves start losing as O'Brien plays badly. Higgins asks Mike and Slappy (Tom Dugan) what is wrong with O'Brien, and they say it is her. O'Brien calls Lorgan and says he won't rehearse. Higgins talks to O'Brien, and they kiss. Lorgan tells Higgins that O'Brien has been rehearsing. She benches O'Brien, and Lorgan fires him.

O'Brien recalls the past and gets kids to chant for him. O'Brien gets to play. Shirley tells Ryan that Lorgan is going to stop O'Brien. In the clowning Ryan hits O'Brien with a real ball and knocks him out. Lorgan sends two men to keep him out. Higgins and Shirley have the players remove the two men, and the police arrest Lorgan. Higgins revives O'Brien, who gets angry at Ryan and hits a home run. O'Brien and Ryan are joined by Shirley and Higgins in the final song.

This musical celebrates the early era of professional baseball when vaudeville was in vogue, and gamblers tried to bribe players. Romance is discovered to be based on a deeper instinct than what the conscious mind thinks.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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