Classic Film Guide

Alibi Ike (1935)

Joe E. Brown (a man with a big grinning mug for a mouth) made a number of films, some of which (like this one) have a baseball theme. His brand of humor, which ranges between annoying and silly, is definitely an acquired taste. In this comedy, he plays the very talented, if mentally below average, titled pitcher with a wacky windup who can't seem to admit that he doesn't know everything or that he's responsible for anything - so he makes up an excuse, or alibi. Because of these traits, he gets mixed up with some gamblers who are convinced he'll (literally) throw the game for them. But the gamblers then have to conspire to keep Ike from being able to pitch in the big game when he finally figures out "what's what". Poor Olivia de Havilland has to play opposite Brown, as the daughter of a baseball executive, and even has the misfortune of becoming his betrothed. Ruth Donnelly (as de Havilland’s sister), Roscoe Karns (as one of Brown's "friends"), and William Frawley (as the team manager) also appear. Directed by Ray Enright with a story by Ring Lardner that was adapted by William Wister Haines.

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