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Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Two turn-of-the-century baseball players, who work in vaudeville during the off-season, run into trouble with their team's new female owner and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.


Busby Berkeley


Harry Tugend (screenplay), George Wells (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Frank Sinatra ... Dennis Ryan
Esther Williams ... K.C. Higgins
Gene Kelly ... Eddie O'Brien
Betty Garrett ... Shirley Delwyn
Edward Arnold ... Joe Lorgan
Jules Munshin ... Nat Goldberg
Richard Lane ... Michael Gilhuly
Tom Dugan ... Slappy Burke


The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. turns outs to be a beautiful woman who really knows her baseball. Second baseman Dennis Ryan promptly falls in love. But his playboy roommate Eddie O'Brien has his own notions about how to treat the new lady owner and some unsavory gamblers have their own ideas about how to handle Eddie. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's Gay Technicolor Musical! See more »


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Release Date:

April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La linda dictadora See more »


Box Office


$1,725,970 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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. See more »


At the end of the 'Strictly USA' dance number when the dancers start to cheer, a few frames are played in reverse. See more »


Dennis Ryan: Gee! Ain't that somethin'? She's the kinda girl I've always dreamed about. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be married to a girl who played baseball? Gee.
See more »


Referenced in Goof Troop: Take Me Out of the Ball Game (1992) See more »


The Hat My Dear Old Father Wore upon St. Patrick's Day
Music by Jean Schwartz
Lyrics by William Jerome
Sung and Danced by Gene Kelly
See more »

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User Reviews

Energetic, amiable and lots of fun to watch...
29 November 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

For me, the only drawback to TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME is the fact that I read the ESTHER WILLIAMS biography and in it she expresses what I can only describe as contempt for the way GENE KELLY and his director pal Stanley Donen unfairly treated her on the set of this very entertaining little musical.

Seems that neither one of them was impressed with her popularity as a swimming star (big at the box-office) and out of spite and jealousy razzed her about why on earth she was appearing in a musical at all. Obviously, their first choice for the part (I forget who it was), was unavailable and MGM decided to give her the part of the baseball manager who is the romantic interest of both FRANK SINATRA and GENE KELLY.

Well, watching it without knowing these facts, you can sit back and enjoy the film the way it was meant to be. Actually, Esther acquits herself well in both the acting department and whatever else she does, including a brief swimming scene, and it only makes the treatment she received seem even more unfair as the film unwinds.

Sinatra and Kelly rehash their roles in ANCHORS AWEIGH, with Sinatra again mooning over the girl while Kelly at first resents her before falling in love. For added fun, JULES MUNSHIN is another ball player who gets to strut his stuff once in awhile.

It's all prettily Technicolored in the way that only MGM could do when it came to musicals and it's easy to see that Kelly and Sinatra could kick up their heels in dance routines the way they did in ANCHORS AWEIGH and ON THE TOWN.

And speaking of ON THE TOWN, BETTY GARRETT as a fun loving gal who chases Sinatra around a ball park, seems to be doing a rehearsal for her role in that film.

Summing up: Good summer entertainment, light as a feather stuff from the studio that knew how to make musicals.

Trivia note: On a cable interview several years ago, Donen was still bitter about Williams and made snide remarks about her abilities to an audience that giggled at his comments.

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