Angels in the Outfield


Angels in the Outfield (1951)




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Movie Info

Though not the most profitable baseball comedy ever made, Angels in the Outfield is one of the most likeable and enduring. Paul Douglas stars as Guffy McGovern, the combative, foul-mouthed manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. With his team in the basement once more, McGovern has plenty to complain about. All this changes when, while wandering through Forbes Field at night, Guffy is accosted by the voice of the Archangel Gabriel (courtesy of an unbilled James Whitmore). As the spokesman for the Heavenly Choir Nine, a celestial ballclub, Gabriel begins bestowing "miracles" upon the Pirates--but only on the condition that McGovern put a moratorium on swearing and fighting. With the help of the invisible ghosts of past baseball greats, the Pirates make it into the Pennant race. During one crucial game, orphan girl Bridget White (Donna Corcoran) insists that she can see the angels helping out the "live" ballplayers--understandably so, since it was Bridget's prayers that prompted Gabriel to visit McGovern in the first place. Newspaperwoman Jennifer Page (Janet Leigh) transforms Bridget's angelic visions into a nationwide news story, causing no end of trouble for McGovern. When Guffy himself confirms Bridget's claims, he falls right into the hands of vengeful sportscaster Fred Bayles (Keenan Wynn), who's been scheming all along to have McGovern thrown out of baseball. Complication piles upon complication until the Big Game, wherein Guffy is forced to rely exclusively upon the talents of his ballplayers--notably "over the hill" Saul Hellman (Bruce Bennett)--to win the pennant. Unlike the spell-it-all-out 1995 remake of Angels in the Outfield, the original film never shows the angels, permitting the audience to draw its own conclusions regarding Divine Intervention. The film is an unqualified delight, never descending into sloppy sentiment or boggy bathos. Understandably, Angels in the Outfield was Paul Douglas' favorite film (though he'd never admit it after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, hardly Douglas' favorite politician, insisted that it was his favorite as well).

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Paul Douglas
as Aloysius X. 'Guffy' McGovern
Janet Leigh
as Jennifer Paige
Keenan Wynn
as Fred Bayles
Donna Corcoran
as Bridget White
Lewis Stone
as Arnold P. Hapgood
Spring Byington
as Sister Edwitha
Bruce Bennett
as Saul Hellman
Marvin Kaplan
as Timothy Durney
Ellen Corby
as Sister Veronica
Don Haggerty
as Rube Robinson
Paul Salata
as Tony Minelli
John McKee
as Bill Baxter
Patrick J. Molyneaux
as Patrick J. Finley
John R. McKee
as Bill Baxter
Ty Cobb
as Himself
Joe DiMaggio
as Himself
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Critic Reviews for Angels in the Outfield

All Critics (3)

Charming if low-key baseball fantasy teaches life lessons about teamwork and treating others with respect.

Aug 2, 2013 | Full Review…

Cute baseball fantasy overshadowed by remake.

Dec 14, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Angels in the Outfield


The original version does not sport the technical capabilities of the popular Disney remake ... and so they garner their credentials the old-fashioned way: they earn them. The extremely likeable Paul Douglas leads as a crusty and foul-mouthed baseball manager stuck with a knucklehead team until he is granted heavenly assistance. Janet Leigh is nice as a reporter with the woman's perspective, and Keenan Wynn is good as a sports announcer. The showdown lowdown: Less pyrotechnics, more heart.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This original movie is better than its 90s remake, I recommend seeing this one first if you haven't seen the remake, though. It's funny, dramatic, and baseball themed of course. I really liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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