User Reviews (19)

Add a Review

  • I saw this movie first on TV in the 70's(I think). The story follows a multi-millionaire-baseball team owner who wishes his team would show some spunk. He meets Rhubarb, a golf ball stealing feral cat, and in the process of trying to eradicate the cat, finds just what he is looking for in a team player, all fight. He takes in the cat, and after the man passes away, the cat is willed ownership of the baseball team. (this has actually happened in real-life a few years ago, a cat inheriting millions.) Once the superstitious ball players are convinced the cat is good luck, the team begins to win, angering gangsters betting on the games. Battling them and his fiance's alergy to cats, the hero finally manages to conquer all. This movie is simply fun. I really wish it could be revived and sold as VHS or DVD. I would think it could make quite a lot of money, considering the millions of loving cat owners (including myself) who would enjoy seeing this show. If you want a simple and cute story,see this movie!
  • Hello Rhubarb fans...back in 1984 I stumbled across this movie and loved it! I went out the next day in "search" of my own Rhubarb. Found and orange tabby and he is awesome. Here it is 2002 ,he's 18 ys. old and still the the star around here! Whenever someone asks why I named my cat Rhubarb, I tell them about the movie. My kids and neighbor kids like to watch it too. Comical, sassy and full of spice...that's Rhubarb! ***MUST SEE***
  • I saw this movie when it first was released. My hometown movie theater had Saturday matinée's for kids through early teens. If you were lucky enough to go to one of these early releases you also received a picture of Rhubarb with his "pawtograph". I also acquired a large "rhubarb colored" cat. He lived up to his name well. Many a dog left our yard rather than face up Rhubarb any longer. Over the years I have recommended this movie to many people for their children to view. Those who have managed to find the movie have been well placed. I have seen this movie listed at Blockbusters. This movie will probably also be enjoyable for those of us older folks with a touch of nostalgia.
  • A true classic especially for those lovers of furry little beasts and baseball. Gene Lockhart is delightful as T.J. Banner, owner of a baseball team that is not very good. He adopts a cat, a mean cat that has a "fire in his heart" that T.J. wants his ball team to have. That is why the name of Rhubarb is given to the cat. The team at first cannot stand being the laughing stock of the baseball world with a "cat" as the mascot. When another team brings a dog to chase Rhubarb the cat is the victor and the team slowly begins to behave with the "fighting spirit of the cat." Before T.J. can see all of this he dies and leaves his baseball team to Rhubarb with Ray Milland "Eric Yaeger" as the protector of the cat. This "cat team" starts to win and win and win. A must see comedy for all.
  • The movie is great fun. However, younger viewers, i.e Gen-Xers may not get some of the references. The plot is about a lovable but crusty industrialist, T. J. Banner, who finds a even more crustier cat which he names Rhubarb. When the man dies, six years later, he lives his fortune and baseball team, the Brookln Loons, to Rhubarb. Ray Milland plays the dead man's attorney Eric Yeager who is assigned as guardian to the the cat. The team resist the idea of being owned by the cat until Yeager convinces them that the cat is a good luck charm. Complicating matters is the late owner's daughter who was left with nothing and Yeager's fiancee, who is the teams manager's daughter, Polly Sickles, played by Jan Sterling, who is allergic to Rhubarb. This condition prevents the couple from marrying.

    This movie is a skewed window on a bygone era. What I found amusing is that a TV broadcast broke away from a game during play for a commercial. Something I've never seen. Polly's reaction was no doubt standard for fans of that era.

    Watch for the ending where Sterling's real-life husband, Paul Douglas, is sitting at a park bench, as Sterling, Milland, and Rhubarb walk by.
  • I saw this movie as the second feature with "The day the Earth Stood Still" in 1951. It was an enjoyable tale about a feisty cat that inherited a sub-par baseball team and proved unstoppable when it came to leading them to the winners circle. The movie opens with the owner of a baseball team playing golf. The owner, Thaddeus J. Banner (Gene Lockhart) discovers that on one of the holes there is a cat that feels it is his duty to retrieve any ball in sight and disappear with it. T.J. then tries every trick he can think of to discourage the cat. Fierce dogs are run off with their tails tucked between their legs, and the cat even dismantles a cat trap. When Lockhart finally trails him back to his lair he discovers the cat sitting on a pile of golf balls that would make any duffer cry. He looks like he is trying to hatch several thousand of them.

    Eventually the crusty ball club owner manages to catch the cat but he becomes curious about his feistiness and names him Rhubarb, baseball slang for a brawl. When T.J. dies, he leaves the cat the baseball team. Baseball players being what they are didn't take kindly to their new owner, but one by one they were won over. When one of the players decides to try to pet Rhubarb he is rewarded with a slash on the hand from the cat. He is also rewarded with a bonus from the front office that had been spying on the scene. It seems that they had overlooked a small clause in his contract and was to receive a pay increase. Another player makes an overture to Rhubarb, and lo and behold, he also receives a bonus. Well… baseball players being what they are, or at least what they used to be, decide that the cat is a good luck charm. They become involved in a self-fulfilling prophecy and end up in the championship series. The plot thickens when, late in the series, Rhubarb is kidnapped by the other team. The cat escapes leaving his captors in worse shape then if they had tangled with Jackie Chan. He manages to make his way across town and the team is inspired to a come-from-behind situation to win the last game of the series.

    I don't know how it would play to most 12 year old children today, but in the days of innocence it was a fun movie.
  • Todays young audiences probably won't find much to keep their attention, but none-the-less, it's a gem by any standards. A simple, yet charming tail (and everyone else here has pretty much summed up the plot) that I enjoyed through the early and mid 80's on television. I haven't seen it in probably well over 10... probably 15 years, but I've never forgotten it, and I would love to see again. It's story is so basic and timeless, that I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't jumped on the re-make bandwagon with this one. But probably just as well. The performances were priceless, and I'd hate to see anything in the story altered or changed in any way. If you've never seen it, take the time to do so. It'll be worth it!
  • If you've never seen this 1951 screwball comedy, you have missed a real gem. A cat that can fight and beat dogs, an eccentric baseball team owner who dies and leaves the team to the cat (Rhubarb), the cat's guardian (Ray Milland) whose fiancée is allergic to cats, a group of gangsters who believe Rhubarb is hurting their earnings in the field of betting (the team begins to win after they believe Rhubarb is good luck), and the dead owner's relations who have been left penniless by Rhubarb usurping them in their inheritance all mix together to make great fun for cat lovers and baseball lovers alike. Nobody remembers this one very much because it is rarely televised and also because it was made by Paramount, a studio that tends to neglect its many classic films. In fact, the expression that the Joker utters in the 1989 Batman film : "Never rub another man's Rhubarb" refers to this film, although almost everyone assumed a more unsavory meaning for the expression. The baseball team in this film starts to turn their luck around when one batter pets (rubs) Rhubarb before a game. It really is a great family movie, but not many people at all have seen this one and thus few understand what the Joker was talking about.
  • This was one of my favorite movies growing up. My office has about about a two foot camel as you walk in and I named him Rhubarb, and have all my employees "pat" him on the head for good luck. I have to tell the story of Rhubarb to everyone because it seems NO ONE has ever seen this movie. There is a line in the first Batman movie where the joker says "Don't pat another man's Rhubarb"; though it doesn't seem anyone online knows where the phrase comes. In fact you can find many sites that quote that line with the explanation that Rhubarb means genitals! Maybe sometime in the near future this lost treasure will be available on DVD. Its also interesting to see a VERY young Lenard Nemoy as one of the baseball players. I think he may have one or two lines in the whole movie.
  • The beautiful Jan Sterling was, in real life, married to Paul Douglas. At the end of Rhubarb she and Ray Milland walk through central park, with Rhubarb, following are three female cats, each with several kittens following them. - As they pass a man, sitting, reading a newspaper, he looks up - it turns out to be Paul Douglas who comments about the cat having a litter by three wives (A Letter To Three Wives being a film Douglas was starring in). No real baseball teams are mentioned, though its clear the main team is the Brooklyn Dodgers. The series game at the end of the film is between the Dodgers and the New York Giants. 6 degrees of baseball movies.... Milland also starred in the baseball classic "It Happens Every Spring" along with Paul Douglas. Paul Douglas was in the original "Angels in the Outfield" William Frawly was in several baseball films including "Kill The Umpire" with William Bendix (who portrayed Babe Ruth in the Babe Ruth in the Babe Ruth Story).
  • triple-x8 October 1998
    It had baseball, it had kitties. They would have had to really labor to screw that up. Utterly consequential but really sweet, with a good line about artichokes.
  • bkoganbing22 December 2013
    As a cat person I'm glad to see cats get their due in this film about a cat who inherits the Brooklyn baseball team. Being from Brooklyn and a cat lover Rhubarb is a film that can't go wrong for me. Even though there are a few things wrong with this film that someone from Brooklyn would know are wrong.

    Fascinating that this film came out in 1951 and that was the season that the exact opposite of what takes place here happened in the National League. The Brooklyn Dodgers had a 14 game lead that the New York Giants overcame and won with that dramatic home run that Bobby Thomson hit in the bottom of the 9th inning of the playoff game. Here it's the Brooklyn team that comes from behind.

    Irascible tycoon Gene Lockhart who among many things owns the Brooklyn franchise is fascinated by the toughness of a ginger feral cat who steals golf balls. He orders his public relations man Ray Milland to catch him and after a bit of difficulty, but with state of the art technology he does. Lockhart names him Rhubarb and he's tamed with a lot less time than feral cats normally take.

    Then Lockhart dies and leaves his estate to the cat with Milland as guardian disinheriting his own daughter Elsie Holmes. The ballclub resistant at first adopts Rhubarb and the Borough of Brooklyn takes the former feral cat to their hearts.

    Of course life isn't a bed of roses for Rhubarb, Milland, and his fiancé Jan Sterling. Sterling in fact is allergic to Rhubarb, but in the end that works in their favor in a couple of situations. In fact she's a regular bloodhound when it comes to tracking him.

    Two more things though about the film, Rhubarb is of an amorous nature and Lockhart might have had him neutered lest his house start smelling like a urinal. And there ain't no way the speediest cat in the world could have gotten from midtown Manhattan to old Ebbets Field in the record time Rhubarb makes.

    The adult cast looks a little bit silly playing second fiddle to a cat. But no cat owner would disapprove of that. Rhubarb is still a nice family film and a must for us cat owners.
  • Rhubarb stars Orangey the cat, who apparently lived for quite a long time. This film was made in 1951. Over the years, this feline appeared in Our Miss Brooks, as Minerva, Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961) as Cat, a pivotal role in that film, and the latest credit I could find, a 1964 episode of My Favorite Martian in which the cat is credited as Rhubarb in the end credits. This may or may not have been the cat that appeared as Rusty, Elly May's cat in several episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies as well. The film Rhubarb is a neatly plotted comedy which delivers the laughs. Ray Milland shows his easy-going style as Rhubarb's "guardian". Jan Sterling is the girlfriend who is allergic to the feline. Gene Lockhart is good as always, and William Frawley appears (probably because of the baseball subject of the storyline) just prior to his I Love Lucy success. The film has sprightly direction by Arthur Lubin, a master in dealing with animals. After this film he went on to do the Francis the Talking Mule Films and Mister Ed for television (of course, of course). The film is fast moving and funny, and the DVD from Legend Films has a lovely transfer of the film. Especially fun for cat lovers.
  • A mangy yellow cat, formerly a homeless hellion who hung around the golf course, is adopted by a multi-millionaire financier who harbors a distrust of humans; after the man dies, the cat is named inheritor to the vast fortune--and also becomes the good luck mascot for the major league ball team the businessman owned. Likable, mildly funny fantasy-comedy for cat-lovers and baseball buffs doesn't have anywhere special to go after the set-up, though the cast is game and the feline is fun to watch. Ray Milland plays an employee who is named the cat's guardian, and he's in frisky spirits, as is fiancée Jan Sterling who's beset with the proverbial allergy. Laid-back non-achiever from Paramount could maybe use some bigger laughs (or even wit), but is otherwise handled quite smoothly. **1/2 from ****
  • I haven't seen this picture myself yet, but am gratified to see that it is available on video and that quite a few people seem to be inclined to find it enjoyable. I'll certainly add my own impressions once I've taken it in personally. I might even read the book. American humorist H. Allen Smith, who wrote the novel on which this film was based, was in London at the time "Rhubarb" had its premier there and found its reception to be less than rhapsodic. The English, in short, just didn't 'get' it. While browsing through the various London papers, as he reported, "...a great and shining experience falls to my lot... now like a sunburst it leaped from the pages of the Evening Standard. I have, in a sense, been recognized by the hallowed institutions of British criticism... here in this ancient capital of literary excellence." Herewith, the review:

    THE FILM: Rhubarb (Carlton). THE STARS: Ray Milland, Jan Sterling. COMMENT: Beastly. My intelligence is not of a calibre to be easily insulted, but it is still recoiling hurt and cross from contact with this stupendous drivel. A millionaire, dissatisfied with his relations, leaves all his possessions, including a failing baseball team, to an alley cat which, because of its ferocity and its peculiar predilection for collecting golf balls, appeals to him as a champion of individualism. Ray Milland, for whose presence in such a dire disaster we have to curse Paramount, is made the cat's guardian. Jan Sterling, as his fiancee, is allergic to cats, or rather to this one cat, and has a sneezing fit every time she gets within range. As for the wretched cat, a large beast liable, through amplification, to snarl like a tiger, roar like a lion and purr like a faulty cistern, it has one hell of a time. Constantly draped over people's arms, swung on chandeliers, chased by dogs, photographed, wrapped in curtains, trapped in nets and attending baseball games, it cannot fail to make everyone, including people allergic to cats, allergic to the manufacturers of this film. Lacking all wit, grace, humour or charm, power or poetry, this picture should be placed near where rhubarb grows best-- the rubbish heap.

    Added Smith: "One reads it agayne and agayne, savoring the words, testing each lilting phrase, and one realizes that giants of critical acumen still walk the Strand in the footsteps of Samuel Johnson, Pope, Matthew Arnold, Beerbohm, Carlyle, McCall, Chesterton, Shaw, and the unknown scribbler who said that Piers Plowman smelt to high heaven."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a film that will have you meowing from delight from the moment you see the wild Rhubarb dealing with dogs on the golf course in this very funny baseball comedy that had it been made ten years later by Disney would not have been as good. They made similar types of comedies but seem sitcom like in comparison to this completely original film that is a true fancy feast. The human counterparts in this film pale in comparison to the wild feline who likes to steal golf balls and keeps them under paw and nail but marriage to be tamed by eccentric millionaire Gene Lockhart who decides to leave his fortune to his cat rather than his nasty, selfish daughter (Elsie Holmes) who would you anyting to get rid of her rival for what she believes she is entitled to.

    Custody of Rhubarb is left in the hands of Lockhart's pal Ray Milland whose fiance Jan Sterling unfortunately turns out to be allergic to Rhubarb. That means she cannot attend the games and sit with custodian Milland and this is not there when Holmes viciously tries to smother the cat (or worse), making her the live-action Cruella Deville of the cat trade. Being caught however does not end Holmes' schemes, ultimately leading into involvement with the mob.

    William Frawley, a huge fan of baseball, appeared in many baseball films over the years and along with the same year's "The Lemon Drop Kid", adds some sparkle to this film in the very same year he started his long run as Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy". Gene Lockhart in his bit-part will steal your heart, and having played a variety of characters both vicious and kindly, gives one of his biggest heart performances ever. TV veterans Madge Blake, Billie Bird and Sandra gold are recognizable in amusing walk-on's. Special credit goes to the script writers who keep this moving although there are brief plot elements that slow it down but only for a short period of time.

    You'll be hissing at Holmes from the minute she appears but indeed she does make a fascinating villainous. It's great to see Milland in a lighter role, having spent the past couple years playing drunks, chisler's and even the Devil Himself. Sterling, Oscar nominated for the same year's "Ace in the Hole", is very funny in a part that does not require her to be really tough but simply loyal to the man she's engaged to even if that means sneezing every time she's around his lucky charm. As for the leading man itself, two paws up to Rhubarb who get special billing in the film and Steele's the show, not to mention the baseballs and golf balls. The ending has a surprise that will have classic movie fans purring in joy.
  • girvsjoint7 October 2017
    I've always loved movies with cats, and this is one of my favorites, featuring handsome movie legend Ray Milland who's easy to take personality and comedy style fit perfectly with the whimsical plot. Mr Milland of course was an Academy Award winning actor, but Orangey, who plays the title character was a duel Patsy winner, being the animal equivalent to the Academy Award, lovely Jan Sterling and top flight Character actors William Frawley and Gene Lockhart add to the top notch cast, with early roles for Leonard Nimoy and Strother Martin thrown in add up to a lot of pluses for this film, plus some great one liners in the script make this one enjoyable romp. They probably couldn't, or wouldn't make a film like this these days, but that's the audiences loss. In this day and age the World could do with some feel good little movies like this, seek out the DVD if you can, it's worth it, especially, if you like feisty pussy cats!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** A cat's meow type movie with a fearless dog chasing alley cat Ruhbarb, played by Orangey as well as thirteen different other cats, is given total control of it's late owner's T. J Banner's, Gene Lockhart, $30,000,000.00 dollar stock and realest empire that includes the cellar dwelling baseball team the Brooklyn Loons that makes him an overnight media celebrity. This causes a mutiny by the teams players feeling insulted to have a cat as their boss as well as Banner's spoiled daughter Myra, Elsie Holmes,going as far as getting in touch with the local bookmakers to knock the cat off so she can get her hands on her late father's money.

    As things turn out Ruhbard has magical powers that help the Brooklyn team win every time he attends their games and has his his head rubbed on, for good luck, by the Brooklyn players. With the Loons making it to the world series and winning the first three games over the favorite New York Yankess he's kidnapped by the bookies and held hostage. That's unless their paid by his guardian and Brooklyn Loons' publicity man Eric Yager, Ray Malland, $50,000.00 to free him as well as keep him from showing up at the critical seventh game at Banner Field in Brooklyn against the Yankees that would spark the hitless Loons, being behind 5 to 0, to win it.

    ***SPOILERS***Making a clean getaway from his captors Ruhbarb does make it to the game on time and energize the Loons to make a come back from behind win against the Yankees. Even if it had Yagers fiancée Pollty Sickels,Jan Sterling, go into a sneezing fit, she's allergic to Ruhbarb, and almost miss marrying Yager that evening. Ruhbarb ends up not only having his team the Brooklyn Loons win the world series but getting hitched up with his girl friend, a kitten that's always at the baseball games, and having three litters of kittens by the time the movie ends! That has actor, who was married to actress Jan Sterling in real life, Paul Douglas give the final comical punch line to the film as he's sitting on a bench in the park reading a newspaper.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Somewhat disappointing. I felt that Dorothy Reid (no relation) and Francis Cockrell could have made something more of the potentially risible situation they concocted around the premise of a millionaire leaving his entire fortune to a cat! Instead, what we have here is a rehash of all the well-used themes in your typical baseball picture. Mind you, it still has its amusing moments and it is adequately directed by journeyman Arthur Lubin.

    On the other hand, the photographer seems to have no idea how to photograph Ray Milland to advantage. Ray actually looked much better in real life than he does in this movie! But on yet the other hand, the not exactly well-known Van Cleave has contributed a very clever music score.