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The Winning Team (1952)

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Title: The Winning Team (1952)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Day ... Aimee Alexander
Ronald Reagan ... Grover Cleveland Alexander
Frank Lovejoy ... Rogers Hornsby
Eve Miller ... Margaret Killefer
James Millican ... Bill Killefer
Russ Tamblyn ... Willie Alexander (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Gordon Jones ... George Glasheen
Hugh Sanders ... Joe McCarthy
Frank Ferguson ... Sam Arrants
Dorothy Adams ... Ma Alexander
Bob Lemon Bob Lemon ... Jesse 'Pop' Haines
Jerry Priddy Jerry Priddy ... Jerry Priddy
Peanuts Lowery Peanuts Lowery ... 'Peanuts' Lowery (as Peanuts Lowrey)
George Metkovich George Metkovich ... George Metkovich
Irv Noren Irv Noren ... Irving Noren (as Irving Noren)
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Storyline

In 1911, Grover Cleveland Alexander - Alex to his friends - is a Nebraska country hayseed who says he wants to settle down, marry his girlfriend Aimee Arrants and be a farmer to offer Aimee a secure and stable life. However he always seems to drop everything whenever the opportunity to play baseball, specifically as a pitcher, arises. This focus on baseball does not sit well with either Aimee or her father, who see it as Alex solely wanting to have fun while shirking responsibility. When Alex is asked to pitch in a game against a visiting professional team, he seizes the chance and throws a three hitter en route to winning the game. That leads to a stint on that pro team, the money from which he promises to use to buy Aimee her farm. When an eye injury seems to end his career even before it begins, he changes his focus to being a farmer to please his now wife Aimee Alexander, but thoughts of baseball that can never be in his life still torture him. When his injury does eventually heal... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of Grover Cleveland Alexander! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Combinação Invencível See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like many a Hollywood biopic, although purporting to tell a "true story," this film fudged many facts, including its claim of the pivotal role Alexander's pitching played in winning the World Series. In truth, it was a failed attempt by Babe Ruth to steal a base that decided that game. See more »

Goofs

The film refers to Alexander beginning his career with Galesburg in the "Three Eye" League (Illinois-Iowa-Indiana League), a "B" league at the time. Galesburg and Alexander were actually in the short-lived Illinois-Missouri League, a "D" league. The following year (1910) he played for Syracuse in the class "B" New York State league before the Phillies bought his contract. See more »

Quotes

Aimee Alexander: Don't you understand, Rog? It isn't enough that I believe in him. Baseball's got to brlieve in him too!
Rogers Hornsby: What can I do to help Alex?
Aimee Alexander: Please give him back his life, Rog!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Diamonds on the Silver Screen (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alex the Great
6 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In filming the life story of Grover Cleveland Alexander, Warner Brothers made it a story of redemption when in fact it was a story of tragedy. But 1952 movie audiences wanted their happy endings.

Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950) was possibly the greatest right handed pitcher in National League history. He played for 3 teams, the Phillies, Cubs, and Cardinals and compiled 373 lifetime victories over a 20 year period.

While still in the bush leagues Alexander sustained a serious head injury when a ball struck him right between the eyes while he was a base runner. He had double vision and headaches for a year. During World War I while an artillery officer the noise of exploding shells compounded a seemingly healed injury with a complication of epilepsy. To anesthetize himself, Alexander took to drinking some of that Prohibition whiskey and became an alcoholic.

After leaving baseball in 1930 for the next twenty years, Alexander drifted to all kinds of menial jobs, occasionally making headlines with some alcohol related incident. One positive headline was his election to the Hall of Fame in the second round of elections. He was on hand for the dedication of the building in Cooperstown.

In 1950 Alex was on hand as the Phillies won their second National League Pennant. Alex was the star of the first pennant winning team in 1915. A month later he was found dead in a cheap rooming house.

That unfortunately is the sad truth of the real Grover Cleveland Alexander. This is not the film you will see.

Ronald Reagan is just fine and actually comes close to the character of the real Alexander who was a genial and kind man with a terrible drinking problem. This was the final film Reagan made while at Warner Brothers.

Doris Day in her second film with Reagan plays Amy Arrants Alexander, his loyal, faithful wife. In her memoirs Doris wrote that during the shooting she and Reagan had a few dates and she remembers him best as a good man who was quite a dancer when they went out. This film also qualifies as a musical for in the beginning Doris has a Christmas number, Old St. Nicholas, and Reagan joins her for the last two bars. Ronald Reagan actually did sing in one of his films.

Today Hollywood would have no problem filming the real story which was quite a love story. Amy Alexander married Alex 3 times and divorced him twice, both those divorces an effort to give him a wake up call.

But the widow Alexander was an adviser on the film and she got the film made to show the public the husband she wanted them to remember.

And baseball fans the world over remember Grover Cleveland Alexander as a great baseball pitcher and a decent and patriotic man whose service to his country caused him a lifetime of triumph and tragedy trying to control the pain in his brain. It's a good legacy that doesn't need any embellishment from Hollywood.


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