16 March 2015 | bkoganbing
At the sound of a fire alarm
I have no doubt that the legendary pitcher Rube Waddell was the model for Joe E. Brown's character in Fireman Save My Child. Waddell was one of the true zanies that ever donned a baseball uniform. One of his foibles was that he loved to chase fire trucks and watch the firefighters at their job. Unlike Brown in the film Waddell was a tippler of enormous proportion. He died way too young as well of tuberculosis.
In Fireman Save My Child Brown is a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who would leave a gang at the sound of a fire alarm. Brown can't choose between his two passions, baseball and firefighting. He also has two other passions, good girl Evelyn Knapp and bad girl Lillian Bond.
Brown in real life was one of the biggest baseball fans that ever worked in the movie capital right along with William Bendix and William Frawley. He later did two other baseball related films Elmer The Great and Alibi Ike. His son in fact became a baseball executive, most notably as the general manager of the 1960 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Shooting at minor league park Wrigley Field in Los Angeles for the baseball sequences must have been heaven for him.
I also have no doubt that the World Series that Brown participates in was used the World Series newsreel footage of the Yankees and Cardinals to good advantage from both 1926 and 1928. Guy Kibbee who like Connie Mack never puts on a uniform plays the Cardinal manager. As it turns out Mack also managed Rube Waddell in the major leagues for the Philadelphia Athletics with a lot more patience than Kibbee shows in this film.
Brown has that rube character of his he used in so many of his films hewn to perfection. This one is enjoyable for both fans of Joe E. Brown and the great American pasttime.