Angels in the Outfield

( 2 )

Overview

Though not the most profitable baseball comedy ever made, Angels in the Outfield is one of the most likeable and enduring. Paul Douglas stars as Guffy McGovern, the combative, foul-mouthed manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. With his team in the basement once more, McGovern has plenty to complain about. All this changes when, while wandering through Forbes Field at night, Guffy is accosted by the voice of the Archangel Gabriel courtesy of an unbilled James Whitmore. As the spokesman for the Heavenly Choir Nine, a ...
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Overview

Though not the most profitable baseball comedy ever made, Angels in the Outfield is one of the most likeable and enduring. Paul Douglas stars as Guffy McGovern, the combative, foul-mouthed manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. With his team in the basement once more, McGovern has plenty to complain about. All this changes when, while wandering through Forbes Field at night, Guffy is accosted by the voice of the Archangel Gabriel courtesy of an unbilled James Whitmore. As the spokesman for the Heavenly Choir Nine, a celestial ballclub, Gabriel begins bestowing "miracles" upon the Pirates--but only on the condition that McGovern put a moratorium on swearing and fighting. With the help of the invisible ghosts of past baseball greats, the Pirates make it into the Pennant race. During one crucial game, orphan girl Bridget White Donna Corcoran insists that she can see the angels helping out the "live" ballplayers--understandably so, since it was Bridget's prayers that prompted Gabriel to visit McGovern in the first place. Newspaperwoman Jennifer Page Janet Leigh transforms Bridget's angelic visions into a nationwide news story, causing no end of trouble for McGovern. When Guffy himself confirms Bridget's claims, he falls right into the hands of vengeful sportscaster Fred Bayles Keenan Wynn, who's been scheming all along to have McGovern thrown out of baseball. Complication piles upon complication until the Big Game, wherein Guffy is forced to rely exclusively upon the talents of his ballplayers--notably "over the hill" Saul Hellman Bruce Bennett--to win the pennant. Unlike the spell-it-all-out 1995 remake of Angels in the Outfield, the original film never shows the angels, permitting the audience to draw its own conclusions regarding Divine Intervention. The film is an unqualified delight, never descending into sloppy sentiment or boggy bathos. Understandably, Angels in the Outfield was Paul Douglas' favorite film though he'd never admit it after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, hardly Douglas' favorite politician, insisted that it was his favorite as well.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While Angels in the Outfield is not in the same league as such great Hollywood fantasies as It's a Wonderful Life, it's nonetheless an enjoyable little film. Angels' biggest problem is that its screenplay tries too hard to cover too many bases. As a result, there's a love story that's treated a trifle too tangentially to be as effective as it might be; the grump-gets-heart-melted-by-little-orphan subplot isn't exploited fully, a court scene that owes a little too much to Miracle on 34th Street gets thrust in at the last minute, and a sentimental climax involving an over-the-hill pitcher doesn't really wash because it's not properly set up. Even with this jumble of spare parts and in spite of Clarence Brown's so-so direction, Angels still works, thanks largely to the wonderful performance of its leading man, Paul Douglas. Possessing a face that might have been the inspiration for the word "hangdog," Douglas is expert at creating characters who are insistently gruff, grumpy and stubborn but still are believably vulnerable and warm. Douglas grabs hold of Guffy from the first moment and never lets go, galvanizing the film in its slack moments and relishing the opportunities he is given to carry a film on his stooped but broad shoulders. Throw in a sweet but not cloying performance from youngster Donna Corcoran and a solid turn from Janet Leigh and there's more than enough to make Angels a pleasant little experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/22/2013
  • UPC: 883316691007
  • Original Release: 1951
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Time: 1:42:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,158

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Douglas Guffy McGovern
Janet Leigh Jennifer Paige
Keenan Wynn Fred Bayles
Donna Corcoran Bridget White
Lewis Stone Arnold P. Hapgood
Spring Byington Sister Edwitha
Bruce Bennett Saul Hellman
Marvin Kaplan Timothy Durney
Ellen Corby Sister Veronica
Jeff Richards Dave Rothberg
John Gallaudet Reynolds
King Donovan McGee
Don Haggerty Rube Robinson
Paul Salata Tony Minelli
Fred Graham "Chunk"
Ty Cobb
Joe DiMaggio Himself
John R. McKee Bill Baxter
Technical Credits
Clarence Brown Director, Producer
Daniele Amfitheatrof Score Composer
Robert J. Kern Editor
Dorothy Kingsley Screenwriter
Paul Vogel Cinematographer
George Wells Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2004

    The Greatest Movie.

    This earlier version of 'Angels in the Outfield' is intriguing and, by all means, fabulous. If you liked the remake, you will love the heartwarming original!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the original, the movie that is based on a strong script

    This is the original, the movie that is based on a strong script and great performances. It's funny but also dramatic, and most of all entertaining. It's also pretty authentic baseball film in that it places the game within a real life context (that is, aside from the presence of angels).
    This is the one you want to see. Get past the black and white presentation and enjoy a good story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews