Alibi Ike (1935)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Romance, Sport


Alibi Ike (1935) Poster

Idiosyncratic new recruit Francis "Ike" Farrell tries to help the Cubs to the pennant with his pitching and hitting.

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6.1/10
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14 July 2010 | howardeisman
6
| Joe E. Brown but not Lardner
The character of Alibi Ike was well known to the American public. There was not only Ring Lardner's short novel but a comic strip for a couple of years, with Ring Lardner as one of the strip's writers.

Lardner's prose was funny, but it was also an incisive exposure of the ignorance and bigotry of middle America of the 1920s. He was inditing a culture which was smug in its ignorance and prejudices. There is, of course, none of this in this Joe E. Brown comedy, designed mainly for Brown to do his familiar shtick while cruising along with a well used plot.

Warner Brothers was willing to bring social criticism into their films at this period (unlike the other studios), but they knew that it wouldn't work in a Joe E. Brown comedy. Brown's movies were designed for rural America (and were very successful), and rural America could laugh as Brown made fun of "citified ways", but they wouldn't have appreciated cogent criticism aimed at them. At least, they wouldn't have laughed.

So this is a fast comedy, pretty funny, especially for baseball fans and baseball historians.

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