Death on the Diamond Film Details
Overview: Pop Clark is about to lose his baseball team, unless they can win the pennant so he can pay off debts. He hires ace player Larry Kelly to ensure the victory. As well as rival teams, …
Tagline: Love finds a way–to solve the most baffling mystery in sports history!
Review: Robert Young (Larry Kelly), Madge Evans (Frances Clark), Nat Pendleton (Truck Hogan), Ted Healy (Crawfish O’Toole), Paul Kelly (Jimmie Downey), C. Henry Gordon (Joe Karnes), David Landau (Pop Clark), DeWitt Jennings (Patterson, groundskeeper), Edward Brophy (Sergeant Grogan), Willard Robertson (Lieutenant Cato), Joe Sawyer (Dunk Spencer), Mickey Rooney (Mickey), Robert Livingston (Higgie Higgins), Ward Bond (police guard), Walter Brennan, Heinie Conklin, Max Wagner (hot dog vendors), Howard C. Hickman (Dr Cushman), Al Hill (Moore, a Cardinal player), Hector Sarno (barber), Harry Semels (man in barber’s chair), Gertrude Short (importunate player’s wife), Fred Toones (porter), Charles Sullivan (taxi-driver), Allen Wood (newsboy), Billy Watson (boy), Bobby Watson, Dennis O’Keefe, Sherry Hall, Brooks Benedict (baseball announcers), Garry Owen (news flash announcer), Bruce Bennett, Don Brodie, Sumner Getchell, Jack Raymond, Kane Richmond (men in ticket line), David Thursby (Burke, an ex-player), Larry Steers, Wilbur Mack (gamblers), Sam Rice (a Karnes henchman), Eddie Phillips (man in broadcasting booth), Jack Norton (a Karnes associate), Pat O’Malley (cashier), James C. Morton (husband), Ray Mayer (Sugar Kane, a player), Bert Lindley (policeman), Marc Lawrence (doorman), Alice Lake (Lucy Warman), Ralph Bushman (Sam Warman), Baldwin Cooke (Cardinal player), Jules Cowles (hayseed in car), James Ellison (Sherman, pitcher for Cincinnati), Jim Farley (policeman at St Louis game), Pat Flaherty (Pat, the coach), Franklyn Farnum (fan), Sam Flint (baseball commissioner), Francis X. Bushman, junior (Sam Briscoe, the pitcher), John Hyams (Henry Ainsley), Fred Graham (baseball double for Nat Pendleton), and Leslie Goodwins, William Griffith, Julie Bescos, Frank Layton, Albert Richman, and the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago Cubs, and the St Louis Cardinals. Director: EDWARD SEDGWICK. Screenplay: Harvey Thew & Joe Sherman and Ralph Spence. Based on the 1934 novel by Cortland Fitzsimmons. Photography: Milton Krasner. Film editor: Frank Sullivan. Art directors: Cedric Gibbons and David Townsend. Music: William Axt. Song, “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” by Albert Von Tilzer (music) and Jack Norworth (lyrics). 2nd unit directors: John Waters, Edward Woehler. 2nd unit camera operators: Ray Binger, Leonard Smith. Technical advisers: Pat Flaherty, Fred Graham. Sound supervisor: Douglas Shearer. Sound mixer: G.A. Burns. Western Electric Sound Recording. Producer: Lucien Hubbard. Copyright 11 September 1934 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation. New York opening at the Capitol: 22 September 1934. U.K. release: 22 December 1934. Australian release: 20 March 1935. 7 reels. 69 minutes. SYNOPSIS: Someone is out to prevent the St Louis Cardinals from winning the pennant, and this desperate fiend doesn’t stop at murder. The finger firmly points to gambling czar Joe Karnes, who stands to lose a million dollars if St Louis wins. A less obvious suspect is Henry Ainsely, who stands to inherit the Cardinals if they lose. COMMENT: This big “B” holds a well-deserved reputation amongst both baseball freaks and film fans. True, a lot of the location material is a bit fuzzy, but that’s baseball. The movie itself is great. Not only does the script strike a startling balance amongst the various elements of romance, mystery, comedy, sport and suspense, it’s not afraid to spring a few surprises that will have most audiences riveted to their seats. With lines as pithy as these to say and characters of such enthralling realism to play, the actors have a field day. Young (replacing Franchot Tone who was originally announced for the role) is both superbly personable and utterly convincing as a star pitcher. Madge Evans, one of my favorite stars, makes (as usual) a delightfully pert heroine. David Landau gives the performance of his life as the harried St Louis manager, while Paul Kelly is likewise ideally cast as the nosy reporter. But the big surprise lies in the joint efforts of Nat Pendleton and Ted Healy. These stalwart players pool their collective comic expertise to make a dazzling tit-for-tat duo, with both displaying dramatic talents well above the call of duty. Also, I’d give special pats on the back to DeWitt Jennings as the affable groundsman and delightfully aggressive Joe Sawyer as Young’s rival. In fact, the whole cast — just look at it! — is something really special. Aside from the fuzzy 2nd unit and process work, technical credits are A-1, whilst production values (by “B” standards) are absolutely staggering.
Duration: 71 min
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sport
Also known as: Death on the Diamond,A Mão Invisível,死の本塁打