"You can't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers" says baseball player wife Eve Miller to Doris Day, playing the wife of Grover Cleveland Alexander (Ronald Reagan) whose promising baseball career stalled because of a hit he took while rising in the minor leagues. Not content to be a farmer, Reagan becomes despondent, only snapping out of it when a seemingly miraculous sight of a clear moon takes away his double vision. Previously opposed to his career choice, supportive wife Day becomes the typical supportive wife, cheering him up with a rather saccharine Christmas dirty ("Old St. Nicholas") while Reagan strings popcorn.
It's all very nicely done, but the plot basically stops less than half way through for several reels, with episodic scenes devoted to his rise to baseball fame, her scrapbook keeping, his involvement in world war I, and of course, the obligatory scene of her running along in the crowd as he comes back another type of hero.
Cameos by famous baseball players of the time gives this historical importance as a record of part of baseball's history, with shots of many long gone stadiums, too old fashioned and un-tech to change with the times. It's obvious that Alexander's double vision will return, but it's also obvious how this formula biographical drama will play out. The way his apparent dive into alcoholism isn't presented as believable either, with a slurring Reagan being told he sounds sober while a sports reporter calls in the story to a newspaper. All of a sudden, we're supposed to believe that he's a lush. The story is there, but the script prevents any real emotional involvement by leaving out key character details.
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