Rhubarb

Rhubarb

5.0 1
Director: Arthur Lubin, Ray Milland, Jan Sterling, Gene Lockhart

Cast: Arthur Lubin, Ray Milland, Jan Sterling, Gene Lockhart

     
 
Rhubarb is an amusing, if not entirely faithful, adaptation of the H. Allen Smith novel of the same name. When Thaddeus J. Banner (Gene Lockhart), multimillionaire owner of the Brooklyn baseball team, passes away, he wills the team -- and his $30 million estate -- to his pugnacious pet cat Rhubarb. Banner's press agent Eric Yeagar (Ray Milland) finds this

Overview

Rhubarb is an amusing, if not entirely faithful, adaptation of the H. Allen Smith novel of the same name. When Thaddeus J. Banner (Gene Lockhart), multimillionaire owner of the Brooklyn baseball team, passes away, he wills the team -- and his $30 million estate -- to his pugnacious pet cat Rhubarb. Banner's press agent Eric Yeagar (Ray Milland) finds this hilarious, until he discovers that he's been appointed Rhubarb's guardian and business manager. One of the crosses Yeagar has to bear is the fact that his sweetheart Polly Sickles (Jan Sterling), the daughter of Brooklyn team manager Len Sickles (William Frawley), is deathly allergic to cats. Still, Yeagar must keep Rhubarb with him at all times, especially when the cat turns out to be a good-luck charm for the perennially basement-dwelling Brooklyn ballplayers. Thanks to Rhubarb's inspiration, the team makes it to the Pennant Race, whereupon the plot really thickens. The first two-thirds of Rhubarb adheres to the original Smith novel, culminating with a zany sanity hearing brought about by Banner's disgruntled relatives to prove that the cat is mentally unfit to control the old man's money. But the final reels abandon the novel in favor of a Guys and Dolls-inspired plot strand, wherein crooked gamblers kidnap the cat to prevent a Brooklyn pennant win. As a result, H. Allen Smith's satiric barbs are somewhat blunted in the final scenes -- which, however, is not to suggest that the film is any less funny than before. One of the better baseball comedies of the era, Rhubarb maintains its merriment right to the end, which is capped by a cameo appearance by a well-known actor who happened to be married to leading lady Jan Sterling.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A somewhat unusual and mildly diverting baseball comedy, Rhubarb is a pleasant enough (and undemanding enough) way to while away 90 minutes or so. It's also a bit of a disappointment, for Rhubarb is a film that often seems on the brink of catching fire and taking off but never seems able to quite capture that needed spark. Part of the problem, perhaps, is the title character; Rhubarb is too feisty to engage a lot of audience warmth, but the feistiness is too self-directed and so the audience stays a bit removed. The screenplay is also to blame; it's funny but not funny enough for long enough. And when dealing with a plot of this sort, a sustained and high degree of humor is vital. But Rhubarb does have a good cast, with Ray Milland in very fine form, playing all the notes of exasperation, frustration and irritation at just the right pitch. Jan Sterling is lovely company, Gene Lockhart is quite good, and William Frawley is William Frawley, which is all to the good. Arthur Lubin's direction is smooth, if unexceptional. The cameo by Paul Douglas is a delight.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2008
UPC:
0844503000316
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
Legend Films
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Closed Caption

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ray Milland Eric Yeager
Jan Sterling Polly Sickles
Gene Lockhart Thaddeus J. Banner
William Frawley Len Sickles
Elsie Holmes Myra Banner
Taylor Holmes P. Duncan Munk
Willard Waterman Orlando Dill
Henry Slate Dud Logan
James Griffith Oggie Meadows
Jim Hayward Doom
Donald MacBride Phenny
Hal K. Dawson Mr. Fisher
Oliver Blake Cadaver Jones
Harry V. Cheshire Mr. Seegle
Tristram Coffin Dr. Stillman
Adda Gleason Maid
Roy Gordon Actor
Mack Gray Detective
Stuart Holmes Actor
Richard Karlan Pencil Louie
Donald Kerr Taxi Driver
Wilbur Mack Golfer
Edwin Max Fish Eye
Hilda Plowright Katie
Eric Wilton Actor
Anthony Radecki Actor
Stanley Orr Newspaper Reporter
Paul Douglas Guest
Strother Martin Ballplayer
Leonard Nimoy Young ballplayer

Technical Credits
Arthur Lubin Director
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Francis Cockrell Screenwriter
Dorothy Davenport Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Lionel Lindon Cinematographer
Alma Macrorie Editor
Hal Pereira Art Director
William Perlberg Producer
Dorothy Reid Screenwriter
George Seaton Producer
Van Cleave Score Composer
Nathan VanCleave Score Composer
Les Weldon Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rhubarb
1. Titles [1:54]
2. Rhubarb Shows his Spirit [4:36]
3. Catching Rhubarb [3:25]
4. Getting Acquainted [6:39]
5. Happy Anniversaries [1:31]
6. T.J. Banner Succumbs [8:36]
7. Regarding Rhubarb [4:42]
8. Brooklyn's Lucky Break [1:25]
9. Polly's Allergy [6:36]
10. Brooklyn vs. St. Louis [1:35]
11. Myra's Scheme [7:38]
12. Protecting Rhubarb [3:14]
13. Rhubarb's Streak Continues [2:15]
14. The Big Secret [1:29]
15. Rhubarb is Dead [2:45]
16. Who is Rhubarb? [4:18]
17. The Luck is Back [:19]
18. Bookie Nightmare [4:15]
19. The Kidnapping [1:49]
20. Murder for Hire [4:07]
21. Washout [3:28]
22. Rounding up the Bookies [1:18]
23. Rhubarb's Escape [2:16]

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Rhubarb 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome movie. My nine year old has watched this movie over ten times. She loves this story about a cat and a ball team. It's black and white and she loves it.