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Elmer, the Great (1933)

Country bumpkin Elmer Kane joins the Chicago Cubs as the greatest hitter in baseball. His skill with a bat takes the team to the World Series, but on the way to the championship he has to deal with gamblers and crooked pitchers.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Ring Lardner (based on a play by), George M. Cohan (based on a play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joe E. Brown ... Elmer Kane
Patricia Ellis ... Nellie Poole
Frank McHugh ... Healy High-Hips
Claire Dodd ... Evelyn Corey
Preston Foster ... Dave Walker (as Preston S. Foster)
Russell Hopton ... Whitey
Sterling Holloway ... Nick Kane (as Sterling Halloway)
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Kane
Charles C. Wilson ... Mr. Wade (as Charles Wilson)
Charles Delaney ... Johnny Abbott
Berton Churchill ... Colonel Moffitt
J. Carrol Naish ... Jerry (as J. Carroll Naish)
Gene Morgan ... Noonan
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Storyline

Elmer does not want to leave Gentryville, because Nellie is the one that he loves. Even when Mr. Wade of the Chicago Cubs comes to get him, it is only because Nellie spurns him that he goes. As always, Elmer is the king of batters and he wins game after game. When Nellie comes to see Elmer in Chicago, she sees him kissing Evelyn and she wants nothing to do with him anymore. So Healy takes him to a gambling club, where Elmer does not know that the chips are money. He finds that he owes the gamblers $5000 and they make him sign a note for it. Sad at losing Nellie, mad at his teammates and in debt to the gamblers, Elmer disappears as the Cubs are in the deciding game for the Series. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De Bom Tamanho See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ring Lardner's play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 24 September 1928 and closed in October 1928 after 40 performances. The opening night cast included Walter Huston as Elmer Kane. George M. Cohan produced the play. See more »

Goofs

In the final World Series game the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees are seen playing in the pouring rain. The field is muddy and there are deep puddles of water. Generally, Major League Baseball teams will continue play in light to moderate rain but will suspend play if it is raining heavily or if there is standing water on the field. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Kane: They can fool some of the people part-time, but the worm will turn.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Cowboy Quarterback (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Indiana
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All Runners Batted In
2 August 2003 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

ELMER, THE GREAT home run hitter doesn't want to leave his pretty boss in Gentryville, Indiana, to play ball for the Chicago Cubs.

Rubber-limbed comic Joe E. Brown scores big in this fine little comedy. Without even trying, the fellow could be funny - his huge grin and mischievous eyes a sure catalyst for laughter. In his first scenes, the mere act of his putting on his socks or eating his breakfast is a riot. The film also gives him a chance to suffer from unrequited love and face the abuse heaped on him for his yokel ways as he tries to deal with professional ballplayers and dangerous gamblers. Brown carries it all off with natural aplomb.

A sturdy cast lends fine support: pretty Patricia Ellis as Brown's conflicted boss; sweet Emma Dunn as his loving mother; goofy Sterling Holloway, perfectly cast, as Brown's baseball-mad younger brother (notice that Holloway's name is spelled incorrectly in the credits). Blustery Berton Churchill plays the owner of the Cubs, Preston Foster is the manager. Genial Frank McHugh plays the Cubs catcher. Claire Dodd has a mysterious role; she seems to be a chum of the ballplayers and little else - but at least she's easy on the eyes and the plot doesn't try to set up a silly romance between her and Brown. Casino hoodlum J. Carrol Naish plays the film's villain.

Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Jessie Ralph as Brown's plain speaking, softhearted housekeeper.

The early scenes in Gentryville have a delightfully homespun, nostalgic charm which the later Chicago sequences can't match. Notice the fine use the minimal soundtrack makes of just two songs: ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game' & ‘On The Banks Of The Wabash.'

Brown's use of a four-letter word near the film's climax underscores the film's pre-Code status. Also of interest, in the last inning of the final World Series game, the plot has the catcher & pitcher of the New York Yankees deliberately and maliciously cheat in an attempt to win. One wonders what Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig must have thought of that...

ELMER, THE GREAT was the second of Brown's ‘baseball trilogy,' the other films being FIREMAN, SAVE MY CHILD (1932) & ALIBI IKE (1935).


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