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  • Since no one really knows about this movie and no one will re-release it, it contains a magical innocence that helps you take it seriously when watching it. This is a baseball movie but you don't have to be a fan to enjoy the father and son relationship that exists and blossoms throughout this loving fantasy. While watching, you can't help but hope your own kid has half the heart that Christie Cooper does(played by Billy Chapin). The rest of the cast is great and this is one of those sweet, fun movies that just works. Dan Daily (the father) does a great job but the real joy is how he doesn't steal the spotlight from Chapin and lets the story really develop.
  • DUMOLT18 June 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a wonderful little film. No, it won't ever be listed as a great movie, but it has all the elements of a great story. To whit: A challenge, a likable genre, a semi bad guy thrown in for conflict and most of all, the quiet, understated love a boy and his father often share. It's pure escapism and sweet, sweet nostalgia. Watch for the little things in the background that will make you ache for days gone by: The binoculars and microphone in the announcer's booth, the first baseman tossing his glove to the side as he trots in after the third out; that used to be common on old baseball. Teams would share gloves so the next guy to man first base would pick up the dropped glove. You know where this film is going from start to finish, but that's is it's magic. It wraps you in much of what was best about the fifties. It will leave you with the kind of smile you get from a pleasant memory. 7 out of 10.
  • 'The Kid From Left Field' is a wonderful baseball film made in the early fifties and breathes the nostalgia of that time period. Child actor Billy Chapin becomes a batboy for the woeful Bisons (a copy of the old St. Louis Browns) and proceeds to inform the players of how they can correct their individual problems. Unbeknownst to the team, Chapin's wisdom is from his father, a washed-up player who has become a peanut vendor and lacks confidence and courage - in spite of his obvious baseball knowledge. Pretty soon, Chapin becomes the nine year old manager of the team with dramatic results that bind father to son; you can't help but root for the Bisons! A baseball fantasy - but filled with much innocence and charm. Surprisingly, this movie has never made it to VHS or DVD. I loved it as a kid - equally as an adult!
  • Jack Sher wrote this undemanding feel-good baseball comedy which drips with sentiment but isn't insufferable about it. Former major league ballplayer, now a single dad living on a slim salary hawking fresh roasted peanuts at the ballpark, gives his son invaluable player-tips once the kid becomes a bat-boy for the Bisons. The youngster passes his father's advice on to the teammates (along with some of his own baseball savvy) and soon the team is winning every game. Original sports entry for families is nearly an anomaly for the genre; the screenplay doesn't resort to heavenly assistance or wild gimmickry to get the team to the winners' circle, although little Billy Chapin is briefly appointed the team's manager. The pacing only drops off in the romantic subplot between 'over-the-hill' 36-year-old ballplayer Lloyd Bridges and secretary Anne Bancroft. Otherwise a very likable film, not sharply directed or incisively written, but entirely pleasant. Remade for TV in 1979. **1/2 from ****
  • The title role of The Kid From Left Field is played by Billy Chapin from a whole family of juvenile actors. He's a baseball crazed kid who gets to live the dream of any kid like that, he gets to manage a major league ball club. More important than that, he's a success at it.

    Of course it's not all him by any means. He comes by his baseball smarts through Dan Dailey his father who know is a peanut vendor in the Bison ballpark. But Dailey was once a former big league player who missed his big chance because of an ungovernable temper and an undisciplined nature. A sadder and wiser Dailey knows it and now is a vendor for the team he used to play for.

    Young Chapin becomes a bat boy and then gets to giving advice, good advice to the players, but that undermines manager Richard Egan's authority. He gets the kid fired, but then Egan gets fired and young Chapin realizes a dream.

    You know how this film is going to end, every cliché that is involved in a baseball film is used here. Still The Kid From Left Field is a nice family picture with eternal appeal. Such folks as Lloyd Bridges, Fess Parker, and Bob Hopkins as Bison players, Ray Collins as the owner and Anne Bancroft as his secretary all perform admirably.

    Best scene in the film is when manager Chapin takes over an argument from player Bridges with an umpire and gets thrown out of the game. But Billy Martin and Leo Durocher were not picked up by the seat of the pants deposited in their dugouts by an umpire.

    The Kid From Left Field was remade more than two decades later with Robert Guillaume and Gary Coleman taking over the parts that Dailey and Chapin had. I've not seen it as yet, but it will have to go some to beat the charm of the original.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hey, if a cat ("Rhubarb") can become a legend in baseball, why not a little boy? Of course, he's just the front for his down and out former baseball player father, now a peanut salesman. When the lad (Billy Chapin) becomes a bat-boy, he uses advice given to him by his father to help player Lloyd Bridges improve his game. This helps the loosing (and fictional) Bisons to a winning streak, pleasing owner Ray Collins and giving mean-spirited manager Richard Egan an ego boost until the truth comes out. With that, little Chapin becomes the team's new manager and brings them tons of free publicity, but of course, that can only take them so far.

    Yes it is all absurd, but hey, what's a little absurdity between shortstops? In addition to leads Dailey, Chapin, Egan, Bridges and Collins, there's also the sultry Anne Bancroft as Bridges' girlfriend who is also by chance Collins' secretary. Misused during her early Hollywood years as a generic heroine, her talents showing so much more. She could have been a great brunette version of Marilyn Monroe with her Ava Gardner like femme fatal looks and that delightful husky voice. Egan, later a romantic hero in films like "A Summer Place" and "Pollyanna", plays a really cruel character who goes out of his way to hurt Chapin for humiliating him, even trying to damage his father in his eyes.

    The heroic character that Bridges plays is a nice contrast to some of the villains he had been portraying. "General Hospital" fans will recognize John Beradino (a former baseball player himself) as one of the teammates, cast among other players in small roles. This is a nice little fantasy that can be seen as a dream for any young baseball fan just home from a late night double-header who is too excited to dream about anything else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of the reviewers said the players on this team couldn't play Major League Baseball..just to be clear..the original New York Mets couldn't play either..they were all players from other teams that became expendable to create a new team in New York..they were the lovable..fumbling..bumbling team that everyone felt sorry for with a manager that had more one-liners than Milton Berle..they had older players at the end of their careers..and young,inexperienced players..but over time and new talent, they became world champions of the baseball world..this film deals with a father-son bond..and aging ball players..one at the end of his career with one last summer in the sun..Ray Collins/Lt. Tragg of Perry Mason fame..Lloyd Bridges of High Noon and Sea Hunt..22 year old Anne Bancroft..Delightful Dan Dailey..Fess Parker/Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone..Richard Egan as a slimy..credit-taking manager for his team's turn-around..all players playing their parts superbly..some romance..some ball playing and some decisions about end of career choices..and young Billy Chapin as Dailey's son..turning in a performance not to be missed..for my money, you can have your Field of Dreams or Bull Durhams..this is sweet and innocent and worth your time..a lot of owners in the old days did things like this just for the publicity..and it worked..whoever heard of a 3 foot tall ball player? Or a pitcher with one leg? Times were different..but they were good times for a lot of us..and this is a nice little story that may have been true in another city and time..7 out of 10 for me..
  • I know it's only a fantasy film but, still, if you know the slightest thing about baseball this movie can be annoying at times because ballplayers would NOT act like this. Even worse, Major League players wouldn't be this inept, to begin with. These guys couldn't make a Little League team, and they are playing professional baseball??? Come on...how much are we supposed to swallow here?!!

    Listen.....it's a nice story and a good-natured film, but it's just too far-fetched. However, I can some non-baseball fans enjoying it, or older folks enjoying this for the pure nostalgia of seeing some baseball back 50 years ago. I like that part, myself, and appreciate a movie with some sentimentality and sweetness to it, which this does. I also like Dan Dailey, who plays the boy's father. Billy Chapin is likable as the kid, too....so what I am crying about?

    It's just that no ballclub is going to employ (or even listen to) some little kid, even if it is secretly coming from his knowledgeable dad. Maybe I've watched too many Steven Spielberg movies. He always portrays kids as smarter than adults, which is ludicrous. I hate to see the same in a classic-era film in which writers had more sense than the twisted politically-correct morons of today.
  • Great actors, mediocre movie. The premise of this movie has been used in many movies. You know, where a team is slumping terribly and along comes some 'magical' external influence to change it all around (eg. Major League). The problem with the screenplay of this movie is how they depicted the teams' slump, with balls rolling through infielder's legs, dropped easy fly balls, and batters clueless as to their hitting slumps. And worst of all was when the outfielder had his glove out to catch a fly ball and the ball hit him square in the forehead. Good for laughs, but jeeeez, these guys are MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS. But the KID solves the problems of these major league players (more fantasy). Fun to watch anyway, but only got my 5/10.