The Fireball

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Movie Info

Mickey Rooney is The Fireball in this independently produced sports film. The sport in this case is roller-skating, which was enjoying a resurgence of popularity in 1950 thanks to the various "Roller Derby" telecasts. Rooney plays Johnny Cesar, an orphan kid who rises to fame and fortune on the basis of his skill on skates. As his popularity grows, so does Johnny's arrogance. It takes a bout with polio to bring Johnny back down to earth. Pat O'Brien is cast as the priest who encourages Johnny to hone his skating skills, then gives the boy moral support when he's stricken down by illness. Marilyn Monroe has a showy supporting role as one of Johnny's casual dates. Best bit: the lanky solo skater who does his thing while Pat O'Brien looks on in mute amazement. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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