The Stratton Story (1949)

  • Frank Morgan & James Stewart make a good pairing. (Edit: Two weeks after posting this, it suddenly dawned on me why I liked this so much – it’s a re-pairing! Stewart & Morgan were teamed in one of my all-time favorites, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940). Duh!)
  • When June Allyson sees her blind date James Stewart for the first time, she looks supremely disheartened and says, “…Oh no.”

Sorry, y’all – but if 6’3″ James Stewart appeared as my surprise date…that would NOT be my reaction. Nor would it be June Allyson’s, in real life. I mean…come on.

  • I don’t think the angle at which the goodbye scene at the train station (between a now in love Stewart & Allyson) was filmed was an accident. (It’s shot so that Stewart’s shoulder blocks a full-on view of their kiss.) Sam Wood was probably afraid of the censors, like Frank Capra was when he opted to edit out parts of the phone scene in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946). Tsk.
  • Oh my lord…a Comiskey-shaped wedding cake. That’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen!
  • Bill Dickey cameo! Cool!
  • I like the way they handle the baseball scenes – by doing a closeup of James Stewart’s windup (which is perfectly convincing, by the way), then zooming out to the larger field view for the actual pitch/play. Nicely done!
  • “No southpaws in this family!” Monty says to his infant son…but said no baseball father in real life EVER.
  • June Allyson in the “amputation authorization scene” is pretty darn good.
  • Wonder what the age difference is between Agnes Moorehead (who plays Monty’s mother) and James Stewart? Can’t be too much. (Answer: Moorehead was 8 years older. Ha.)
  • Also, though – I feel like noting that as far as casting goes, James Stewart does, in fact, resemble Monty Stratton. Much more so than he does Charles Lindbergh. (Heh. Here’s looking at you, THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (1957).)
  • It’s pretty cute how Ethel (Allyson) gets Monty throwing again. I hope that happened in real life. I’m a fan.
  • In the comeback game, it makes absolutely zero sense for the manager to let Monty hit with the winning run on base, that late in the game. Nothing to do with his ability (or lack thereof) – but he’s a goddamn pitcher! No manager (yeah, yeah – except if you’re Bruce Bochy & you’ve got Bumgarner in your lineup) would choose the starting pitcher over a pinch hitter, in that scenario. That’s just silly.
  • In the end…really simple movie – but good!

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