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Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) Poster

Trivia

According to Esther Williams in her memoirs, Judy Garland was the original choice for K.C. Higgins but was replaced after she'd become undependable owing to her developing drug habit. June Allyson was also considered but had become pregnant and opted not to work during her pregnancy.
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Frank Sinatra's career was struggling at the time and this was made during a period when the only time he did well at the box office was when paired with Gene Kelly. Two of his previous solo appearances, It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) and The Kissing Bandit (1948) did very poorly at the box office.
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The idea for the movie was conceived by Gene Kelly, who wanted to pay tribute to the early days of baseball. The movie takes place between 1909 and 1911, as evidenced by Ryan's picture on a new T206 baseball card.
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Baseball, The Great American Pastime, never has been widely followed in Britain. Consequently, the film's title for English audiences was changed to "Everybody's Cheering."
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The second pairing of three movies of musical stars Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
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The song "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg" (referring to the shortstop/second base/first base double-play) is modeled on a poem titled "Tinker to Evers to Chance" by Franklin P. Adams, referring to the Chicago Cubs infield of 1903-1910. The trio were most popular from their infield and their ability of quickly getting double plays, and some triple plays and ending opposing teams current inning, of batting.
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The final film directed solely by Busby Berkeley, though it is widely known that Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen took the reins. Producer Arthur Freed had engaged Berkeley as a good will gesture to jump start his stalled career, and Freed, Kelly and Donen all agreed that Berkeley should retain directorial credit on the finished product.
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Director Busby Berkeley came up with an imaginative swimming number for Esther Williams and Gene Kelly but Kelly refused to partner Williams in the pool. Their only duet, "Baby Doll," was ultimately deleted from the final film, but the footage can be seen and heard on the laserdisc and DVD releases of the film.
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Just four months after the release of Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin and Betty Garrett all starred in another Arthur Freed produced musical, On the Town (1949).
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Rodgers and Hammerstein's ballad, "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," is famous for its three deletions. First, the song was intended as a duet for Alfred Drake and Joan Roberts in the trailblazing 1943 Broadway musical, "Oklahoma!" Then screen rights to the tune were acquired by MGM producer Arthur Freed and it was scheduled to be sung by Judy Garland to Tom Drake in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Five years later, the ditty was to be interpolated in this Arthur Freed project, set to be sung by Frank Sinatra to Betty Garrett. The Sinatra prerecording holds a place on the Rhino CD box set, "Frank Sinatra in Hollywood 1940-1964." The video footage also survives, and is included on the Warner Home Video DVD release.
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Although it professes to be based on an original idea by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, this film is an obvious retread of the early MGM musical They Learned About Women (1930), which also depicts two baseball players who moonlight as vaudevillians during the off-season.
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There was no soundtrack album, but three of the stars made commercial discs of a few songs, on MGM Records. Two Gene Kelly-Betty Garrett duets were recorded , "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (music by 'Albert Von Tilzer', lyrics by Jack Norworth), done in a swinging tempo, and "Yes, Indeedy" (music and lyrics by Roger Edens, Betty Comden and Adolph Green). Also, recorded on MGM Records, a Garrett solo, "It's Fate Baby, It's Fate" (music and lyrics by Edens, Comden and Green) and recorded on Columbia Records, Frank Sinatra's charming ballad, "The Right Girl for Me" (music and lyrics by Edens, Comden and Green).
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This film's initial telecast in San Francisco took place Saturday 7 June 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), followed by Philadelphia Monday 7 July 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), by New York City 4 October 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), and by Los Angeles 27 November 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later.
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Audiences are often baffled by the noticeable lack of swimming sequences for Esther Williams in this film. The role of K.C. Higgins was actually conceived for Kathryn Grayson, as the film was initially envisioned as a follow-up to Anchors Aweigh (1945), in which Grayson had co-starred with Sinatra and Kelly. By the time filming began, the role had fallen to Williams - a decision Gene Kelly vehemently fought - and there was no time to incorporate acquatic sequences for the leading lady. In addition, the film's turn-of-the-century time period and testosterone-driven plot worked against displaying the leggy swimming numbers that made Williams a star. To ensure that her fans would not go home disappointed, producer Arthur Freed saw to it that Williams at least swam several laps across the hotel pool just prior to the wooing scene.
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The song "Baby Doll" written for this film was deleted before release because the producers felt it didn't fit the story. The DVD special features include part of the number sung by Gene Kelly and danced by Kelly and Esther Williams. It was later featured in the Fred Astaire/Vera-Ellen film The Belle of New York (1952).
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The Blackburn Twins were to have a specialty dance routine in this film, however it was cut due to length. Therefore, neither the act name nor their individual names appear in either the opening or end credits. The twin brothers, Ramon Blackburn and Royce Blackburn, do still appear (uncredited) as two of the players on The Wolves. They can be seen in several group scenes of the players. For example, they are on the right and behind Gene Kelly when he first meets Esther Williams in the hotel lobby and they are seated together on Jules Munshin's right in the dinner scene.
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Kathryn Grayson was considered for the role of K.C. Higgins.
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One of very few major MGM musicals that was not issued as a soundtrack album. Curiously, two other titles released the same year, On the Town (1949) and Neptune's Daughter (1949), suffered the same blow, with two others, In the Good Old Summertime (1949) and The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), receiving only abridged releases, all of which suggests that a musicians' strike may have been the cause.
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In the finale song, when the actual actors are named, there is reference to "Garland" and "Grayson", the two actresses who were considered for the leads.
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Finnish censorship visa # 032880.
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