Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game Photos

Movie Info

So baseball pictures never make money, eh? Try telling that to MGM, which raked in a box office gross of $4 million on their 1949 baseball musical Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Set in 1906, the film concerns the adventures and misadventures of The Wolves, a champion ball club. The team's success is contingent upon the double-play combination of "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg." But while Goldberg (Jules Munshin) lives to play baseball, O'Brien (Gene Kelly) and Ryan (Frank Sinatra) would rather pursue their off-season vaudeville career. Both erstwhile song-and-dance men decide to stick around on the baseball diamond when they mutually fall in love with the Wolves' new owner, the lovely K.C. Higgins (Esther Williams). Though O'Brien wins K.C. for himself, Ryan is compensated with the aggressively affectionate Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett). Gambler Joe Lorgan (Edward Arnold), who has bet heavily against the Wolves in an upcoming Big Game, woos O'Brien away from the team with promises of a big role in an upcoming musical comedy. Having let down K.C. and the rest of the team, O'Brien vows to redeem himself by playing in the crucial game. Lorgan gets wind of this, and orders his henchmen to do away with O'Brien. Hoping to shield his buddy from harm, Ryan beans O'Brien with a pitched ball, thereby incapacitating the prodigal player. The crooks are vanquished, and K.C. forgives O'Brien. But upon learning that Ryan had knocked him out, O'Brien charges onto the diamond, thirsting for revenge. Believe it or not, this action results in no fewer than two winning home runs! We offer you this detailed synopsis because it's likely that you'll be too entertained by the film's musical numbers to pay any attention to the story. Outside of the title number and Gene Kelly's solo "The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick's Day," the picture's best songs are contributed by Betty Comden, Adolf Green and Roger Edens. Take Me Out to the Ball Game is so delightful as it stands that one can only wonder what the film would have looked like had MGM's first choice Kathryn Grayson--or the studio's second choice, Judy Garland--played the Esther Williams role (In a similar vein, the Frank Sinatra character was originally to have been played by real-life Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher!)

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Frank Sinatra
as Dennis Ryan
Gene Kelly
as Eddie O'Brien
Esther Williams
as K.C. Higgins
Betty Garrett
as Shirley Delwyn
Edward Arnold
as Joe Lorgan
Jules Munshin
as Nat Goldberg
Richard Lane
as Michael Gilhuly
Tom Dugan
as Slappy Burke
Murray Alper
as Zalinka
Wilton Graff
as Nick Donford
Mack Gray
as Henchman
Charles Regan
as Henchman
Eddie Parkes
as Dr. Winston
Ramon Blackburn
as The Blackburn Twins
Royce Blackburn
as The Blackburn Twins
James Burke
as Cop in Park
Gordon Jones
as Sen. Catcher
Jack Bruce
as Wolves' Team
John Burger
as Wolves' Team
Aaron Phillips
as Wolves' Team
Eddie Cutler
as Wolves' Team
Ellsworth Blake
as Wolves' Team
Harry Allen
as Wolves' Team
Hubie Kerns Sr.
as Wolves' Team
Peter Kooy
as Wolves' Team
Robert Simpson
as Wolves' Team
Richard Landry
as Wolves' Team
Jack Boyle
as Wolves' Team
Richard Beavers
as Wolves' Team
Virginia Bates
as Girl on Train
Joi Lansing
as Girl on Train
Mitchell Lewis
as Fisherman
Esther Michaelson
as Fisherman's Wife
Esther Michelson
as Fisherman's wife
Henry Kulky
as Burly Acrobat
Jack Rice
as Room Clerk
Edward Cassidy
as Teddy Roosevelt
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Critic Reviews for Take Me Out to the Ball Game

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7)

Seldom has there been a film loaded with such fine entertainment.

June 19, 2019 | Full Review…

A lazy Technicolored cinemusical aimed squarely and accurately at the summer box office.

March 21, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There is no pretense that Ball Game is anything more than a romp for Kelly's virtuosity.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

It must be said, too, that Mr. Kelly and his side-kick do right nicely by a brisk thing called "Yes, Indeedy," as well as the title song.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

What matters is the stylish ebullience, and the excellent score by Roger Edens, Adolph Green and Betty Comden.

February 9, 2006
Top Critic

The plot is typical fluff -- Kelly and Sinatra join Esther Williams's baseball team at the turn of the century -- but the production values are, as always, worth the price of admission.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Oh my god Esther Williams is SO annoying, no wonder Gene Kelly was hard on her in rehearsal or whatever. Whenever she's off the screen I breathe a sigh of relief, but then she and Gene Kelly have to get together, and then I just want to die inside.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


Considering the talent both in front of and behind the camera this is a surprisingly bland albeit colorful musical. Everything is bandbox pretty but there is an uninspired air to the whole enterprise. They do manage to get Williams in the pool once even though the theme of the movie is baseball.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


This is a very fun and funny romantic musical baseball movie starring Sinatra and Kelly.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Take Me Out to the Ball Game Quotes

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