Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Cast & Crew
Like many other war veterans at Granger College, William Waldo Winfield shares responsibility for the care of his baby boy "Boopkins" with his wife Sarah Jane, who also attends Granger. When Sarah Jane insists that Bill not go out for the football team, as playing would interfere with his babysitting duties, Professor Jason Hartley, the football coach, accuses Bill, his quarterback, of being henpecked. Also annoyed with Bill are his fellow football-playing, married friends, Joe Tascarelli, Tony Cresnovich, Eddie Koslowski and Pudge Flugeldorfer, whose wives take Sarah Jane's lead and ban their men from playing. The women's position, which is backed by Professor Sophia Boland, makes headlines in the college newspaper, and soon Sarah Jane is receiving telegrams from like-minded co-eds from around the country, urging her to stand firm. Similarly, Bill receives telegrams from dozens of male students, encouraging him to defy his wife. Inspired, Bill and the other men resolve to challenge their wives's authority, and later Bill announces to Sarah Jane that he is playing in a practice game that Saturday. Sarah Jane agrees, but insists that Bill do all the housework before going. On Saturday morning, Bill and the other men labor over baskets of dirty laundry supplied by their wives, aware that they must clean every item or risk Professor Boland filing a complaint against them at the dean's office. In desperation, Professor Hartley and the men take their laundry to a laundromat and finish in time for the kickoff. Professor Boland and the surprised wives show up at the game with their children, and during one play, Boopkins wanders onto the field looking for Bill. Bill, who shakes with parental responsibility whenever he thinks about Boopkins, is distracted by the baby's presence and is crushed by the defense. After Bill suffers a mild head injury, Sarah Jane and the other wives demand that all the fathers be pulled from the game, which Granger then loses. Later, Arnold Schultze, Bill's incompetent replacement, reveals to the men that Professor Hartley and Professor Boland were once engaged but, for the last twenty years, have fought bitterly with each other. Sure that the two professors still have feelings for each other, Bill invites them to dinner. Helped by Boopkins, the evening is a success until Bill accidentally spills the baby's bath water over his guests, who storm away, blaming each other. Sometime later, while Sarah Jane and the other wives are out of town attending a concert that has been arranged by Professor Boland, their husbands learn that Professor Hartley is losing his job because of Granger's poor showing in football. After Bill informs Sarah Jane over the phone about the coach's fate, Professor Boland rushes back to town and admits to Bill that she has been a meddlesome grouch. To save her former flame's job, Professor Boland then orders the men to the football field, where Granger is playing its last game against State. With Professor Boland and Schultze, the only non-family member Boopkins trusts, babysitting the children on the sidelines, the men rejoin their team, which is behind by twenty-seven points. Granger immediately begins scoring points, but when Schultze's two athletic brothers drag him away in disgust during the final seconds, Boopkins starts crying, distracting Bill. Bill rushes off to change Boopkins' diaper, and the referee repeatedly penalizes the team for delaying the game. Finally, Professor Boland charges into the locker room to retrieve Schultze from his brothers, and once Boopkins is reunited with Schultze, Bill returns to the game and runs for the game-winning touchdown. After the dean informs Professor Hartley that his job is now secure, the two professors celebrate with the team, their wives and their screaming children.
Glenn E. Anderson
Monroe W. Burbank
Leslie I. Carey
Louis Da Pron
John F. Decuir
A. Roland Fields
Ted J. Kent
Joan St. Oegger
Donald O'Connor, 1925-2003
Born Donald David Dixon O' Connor in Chicago on August 28, 1925, he was raised in an atmosphere of show business. His parents were circus trapeze artists and later vaudeville entertainers, and as soon as young Donald was old enough to walk, he was performing in a variety of dance and stunt routines all across the country. Discovered by a film scout at age 11, he made his film debut with two of his brothers in Melody for Two (1937), and was singled out for a contract by Paramount Pictures. He co-starred with Bing Crosby and Fred MacMurray in Sing, You Sinners (1938) and played juvenile roles in several films, including Huckleberry Finn in Tom Sawyer - Detective (1938) and the title character as a child in Beau Geste (1939).
As O'Connor grew into adolescence, he fared pretty well as a youthful hoofer, dancing up a storm in a string of low-budget, but engaging musicals for Universal Studios (often teamed with the equally vigorous Peggy Ryan) during World War II. Titles like What's Cookin', Get Hep to Love (both 1942), Chip Off the Old Block and Strictly in the Groove (both 1943) made for some fairly innocuous entertainment, but they went a long way in displaying O'Connor's athletic dancing and boyish charm. As an adult, O'Connor struck paydirt again when he starred opposite a talking mule (with a voice supplied by Chill Wills) in the enormously popular Francis (1949). The story about an Army private who discovers that only he can communicate with a talking army mule, proved to be a very profitable hit with kids, and Universal went on to star him in several sequels.
Yet if O'Connor had to stake his claim to cinematic greatness, it would unquestionably be his daringly acrobatic, brazenly funny turn as Cosmo Brown, Gene Kelly's sidekick in the brilliant Singin' in the Rain (1952). Although his self-choreographed routine of "Make "Em Laugh" (which includes a mind-bending series of backflips off the walls) is often singled out as the highlight, in truth, his whole performance is one of the highlights of the film. His deft comic delivery of one-liners, crazy facial expressions (just watch him lampoon the diction teacher in the glorious "Moses Supposes" bit) and exhilarating dance moves (the opening "Fit As a Fiddle" number with Kelly to name just one) throughout the film are just sheer film treats in any critic's book.
After the success of Singin' in the Rain, O'Connor proved that he had enough charisma to command his first starring vehicle, opposite Debbie Reynolds, in the cute musical I Love Melvin (1953). He also found good parts in Call Me Madam (1953), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), and Anything Goes (1956). Unfortunately, his one attempt at a strong dramatic role, the lead in the weak biopic The Buster Keaton Story (1957) proved to be misstep, and he was panned by the critics.
By the '60s, the popularity of musicals had faded, and O'Connor spent the next several years supporting himself with many dinner theater and nightclub appearances; but just when it looked like we wouldn't see O'Connor's talent shine again on the small or big screen, he found himself in demand at the dawn of the '90s in a string of TV appearances: Murder She Wrote, Tales From the Crypt, Fraser, The Nanny; and movies: Robin Williams' toy-manufacturer father in Toys (1992), a fellow passenger in the Lemmon-Matthau comedy, Out to Sea (1997), that were as welcoming as they were heartening. Survivors include his wife, Gloria; four children, Alicia, Donna, Fred and Kevin; and four grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Donald O'Connor, 1925-2003
The working title of this film was And Baby Makes Three. According to a news item, the title was changed to Yes Sir, That's My Baby after Universal purchased the right to use the popular song's title. Universal borrowed Gloria DeHaven from M-G-M for the production. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, homecoming queens Charlene Hardey of USC, and Liz Dennison of UC Berkeley, were cast in the film, as was former Michigan football star Tom Harmon, who was to play a radio announcer, and Gene Bearden, a "star pitcher" for the Cleveland Indians. Only Dennison is credited in CBCS lists, however. Hardey's, Harmon's and Bearden's appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter also announced that Judy Brubaker, a former messenger at Twentieth Century-Fox, had been cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Donald O'Connor's then wife, Gwen O'Connor, appears in a bit part in the picture. According to studio publicity material, football players from USC and UCLA, as well as players from various professional teams, participated in the football sequences. Some scenes in the film were shot at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles. Yes Sir, That's My Baby May have been the first feature in which a laundromat is depicted.