Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Released in April 1949, it stars Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, and Betty Garrett. Set in early days of baseball, Kelly and Sinatra play two star baseball players (who, during the off-season are vaudeville performers, of course), and Williams plays the new owner and manager of their team. Sinatra, playing the cute and innocent one at the time, falls for Williams, while everyone else is just annoyed a woman is now running the club. However, as Kelly tries to sabotage Williams to give up the team, he falls for her too. Don’t worry about Sinatra though. Wise-cracking, strong-willed Garrett falls for him.
great numbers throughout the movie, choreographed by Kelly and Donen. One of my favorites is “O’Brien to Ryan to Goldberg,” sung by Kelly, Sinatra, and Jules Munshin, the trio that would later that year make the classic “On the Town” together. This was the first film to pair the three gentlemen together, and their chemistry was kismet. This was the second film to pair Kelly and Sinatra together though, the first being “Anchors Aweigh” (1945). However, after “On the Town,” Sinatra mainly focused on breaking out of the naive characters he was playing, finally hitting the right mark with “From Here to Eternity” in 1953.
Meet Me in St. Louis” but that idea was scrapped too. Finally, it was decided to add it to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” for Sinatra to sing to Garrett. Even though it was cut from the final film, Sinatra and Garrett did get a chance to shoot the song:
So, if you’re like me and love the classic feel of baseball, or you just want to get into the baseball spirit as you cheer on your favorite team (Go Dodgers!), check out “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” It’s available on DVD.
(Post-tidbit: Baseball, of course being an American sport, isn’t that popular in the UK. So figuring the British wouldn’t appreciate the “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” title as much, it was changed in the UK to “Everybody’s Cheering.”)