Alibi Ike


1h 13m 1935
Alibi Ike

Brief Synopsis

A brash baseball star gets mixed up with gamblers and a pretty young girl.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Sports
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jun 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Productions Corp.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Alibi Ike" by Ring Lardner in The Saturday Evening Post (31 Jul 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

The Chicago Cubs have been doing badly, and Cap, the coach, must win the pennant to keep his job. His only hope is rookie pitcher Frank X. Farrell, who still hasn't arrived for spring training. When Frank finally does arrive, he has several stories about why he is late. Frank cannot tell the truth about anything, but he is a terrific player and charms Dolly Stevens, Cap's sister-in-law. Dolly and Frank fall in love, but soon she leaves for home. They correspond, and when his teammates tease him about his letters, Frank denies that they are from Dolly. Still, he decides to buy her a ring, but again, he pretends that it is for his sister and not for Dolly. Frank's great pitching attracts the attention of some gamblers. They threaten to break his arm if he refuses to throw the next two games, and to save himself, he agrees. When Dolly returns, Frank manages to ask her to marry him. She accepts, but when she overhears him denying that he really loves her in front of the other ball players, she gets mad, breaks off the engagement, and leaves town. Frank is so unhappy that he loses the next game, but Cap believes he lost on purpose. Cap's wife Bess is convinced that he is only heartbroken over Dolly and promises Frank that she will get Dolly back if he will set up the gamblers. Before he can do that, the gamblers find out he is going to double-cross them and kidnap him. During the game, the Cubs play poorly without Frank. He manages to escape from the gamblers and makes it to the stadium for the ninth inning. Aided by Frank's pitching, the Cubs tie the score. Then Frank hits a home run and wins the game. Frank marries Dolly and promises never to lie again.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Sports
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jun 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Productions Corp.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Alibi Ike" by Ring Lardner in The Saturday Evening Post (31 Jul 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Alibi Ike


The prolific Ray Enright, whose fast and furious style perfectly suited the many Warner Brothers pictures he made in the early-mid 1930s, had the best teacher: experience. Beginning as an assistant editor for Chaplin, he graduated to the Sennett studios as an idea man - before ascending to the position of studio supervising editor. His no nonsense approach to frenetic pacing and wall-to-wall action seemed tailor-made for the newly refurbished Warner Brothers company, where Enright's initial assignments were the popular Rin Tin Tin adventures - no small accomplishment, as prior to The Jazz Singer's Al Jolson, the famed German shepherd was the small Burbank organization's major star. Adapting to almost every genre, Enright proved extremely effective with musicals, helming the lavish (and now campy) all Technicolor talkie Golden Dawn in 1930. A variety of song and dance extravaganzas followed, highlighted by 1934's Busby Berkeley collaboration, Dames. Enright's gems, however, were the vigorous risque smart aleck comedy dramas such as Havana Widows (1933) and I've Got Your Number (1934). His expertise at obtaining quicksilver laughs made him an ideal director for Warner's house funnyman Joe E. Brown. Their seamless partnership in the charming 1935 adaptation of the Ring Lardner baseball rib tickler Alibi Ike (the final and best of Brown's "national pastime" trilogy, preceded by Fireman Save My Child and Elmer the Great) resulted in a re-teaming the following year for Earthworm Tractors.

Brown, whose penchant for the sport nearly won him a spot with the New York Yankees in the mid-1920s, had a clause in his contract that allowed him to form his own Warner Brothers studio team: the Joe E. Brown All-Stars. The satchel-mouthed comedian was also part owner of the Kansas City Blues, and his fanaticism to the game is evidenced by the casting of no less than 25 all-time greats throughout the picture, including Bob Meusel, Archie Campbell and Herman Bell. Enright's neat melding of howling guffaws with exciting last inning cheers (with a remarkably agile Brown doing all his own baseball action) delighted both critics and fans, and additionally served as an ideal showcase for young newcomer Olivia de Havilland, cast as Brown's sweetheart.

Upon its release, Alibi Ike's star became his studio's MVP when the New York Times' Frank Nugent likened Brown "...to Warners what Garbo is to Metro and Shirley Temple to Fox..." As for Enright, his frantic timing skills filled his future busy schedule with two other genres: the war movie (realistically utilizing his WWI tenure with the American Expeditionary Forces) and the Western. In the latter genre, he became a favorite director of Randolph Scott's after working with the actor on the 1942 remake of The Spoilers. Scott specifically requested the now tagged "action specialist" no less than a half dozen times - a successful on-going alliance ended only by the veteran director's retirement in the early 1950s.

Producer: Edward Chodorov
Director: Ray Enright
Screenplay: William Wister Haines, Ring Lardner (story)
Cinematography: Arthur L. Todd
Film Editing: Thomas Pratt
Principal Cast: Joe E. Brown (Frank X. Farrell), Olivia de Havilland (Dolly Stevens), Ruth Donnelly (Bess), Roscoe Karns (Cary), William Frawley (Cap), Eddie Shubert (Jack Mack).
BW-73m. Close captioning.

by Mel Neuhaus

Alibi Ike

Alibi Ike

The prolific Ray Enright, whose fast and furious style perfectly suited the many Warner Brothers pictures he made in the early-mid 1930s, had the best teacher: experience. Beginning as an assistant editor for Chaplin, he graduated to the Sennett studios as an idea man - before ascending to the position of studio supervising editor. His no nonsense approach to frenetic pacing and wall-to-wall action seemed tailor-made for the newly refurbished Warner Brothers company, where Enright's initial assignments were the popular Rin Tin Tin adventures - no small accomplishment, as prior to The Jazz Singer's Al Jolson, the famed German shepherd was the small Burbank organization's major star. Adapting to almost every genre, Enright proved extremely effective with musicals, helming the lavish (and now campy) all Technicolor talkie Golden Dawn in 1930. A variety of song and dance extravaganzas followed, highlighted by 1934's Busby Berkeley collaboration, Dames. Enright's gems, however, were the vigorous risque smart aleck comedy dramas such as Havana Widows (1933) and I've Got Your Number (1934). His expertise at obtaining quicksilver laughs made him an ideal director for Warner's house funnyman Joe E. Brown. Their seamless partnership in the charming 1935 adaptation of the Ring Lardner baseball rib tickler Alibi Ike (the final and best of Brown's "national pastime" trilogy, preceded by Fireman Save My Child and Elmer the Great) resulted in a re-teaming the following year for Earthworm Tractors. Brown, whose penchant for the sport nearly won him a spot with the New York Yankees in the mid-1920s, had a clause in his contract that allowed him to form his own Warner Brothers studio team: the Joe E. Brown All-Stars. The satchel-mouthed comedian was also part owner of the Kansas City Blues, and his fanaticism to the game is evidenced by the casting of no less than 25 all-time greats throughout the picture, including Bob Meusel, Archie Campbell and Herman Bell. Enright's neat melding of howling guffaws with exciting last inning cheers (with a remarkably agile Brown doing all his own baseball action) delighted both critics and fans, and additionally served as an ideal showcase for young newcomer Olivia de Havilland, cast as Brown's sweetheart. Upon its release, Alibi Ike's star became his studio's MVP when the New York Times' Frank Nugent likened Brown "...to Warners what Garbo is to Metro and Shirley Temple to Fox..." As for Enright, his frantic timing skills filled his future busy schedule with two other genres: the war movie (realistically utilizing his WWI tenure with the American Expeditionary Forces) and the Western. In the latter genre, he became a favorite director of Randolph Scott's after working with the actor on the 1942 remake of The Spoilers. Scott specifically requested the now tagged "action specialist" no less than a half dozen times - a successful on-going alliance ended only by the veteran director's retirement in the early 1950s. Producer: Edward Chodorov Director: Ray Enright Screenplay: William Wister Haines, Ring Lardner (story) Cinematography: Arthur L. Todd Film Editing: Thomas Pratt Principal Cast: Joe E. Brown (Frank X. Farrell), Olivia de Havilland (Dolly Stevens), Ruth Donnelly (Bess), Roscoe Karns (Cary), William Frawley (Cap), Eddie Shubert (Jack Mack). BW-73m. Close captioning. by Mel Neuhaus

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Ring Lardner's short story was also published in Round-up: The Stories of Ring W. Lardner (New York, 1929). The movie was filmed on location in Fullerton, CA., the spring training grounds of the Hollywood team of the Pacific Coast League.