That fine farceur Milland shines as Vernon Simpson, a professorial scientist turned baseball wizard in this side-splitting comedy that has become a minor classic.
Davies, who wrote the marvelous script for MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, came up with another winner here. Vernon, a chemist, is in love with Deborah Greenleaf (Peters), but has not popped the question because his meager salary won't support two. While developing a bug repellant for trees, he invents a
solution that repels wood. A baseball fan of the first order, he concocts a clever scheme to earn additional money. He'll join a major league team as a pitcher, and secretly rub his solution on baseballs which will be repelled by the hitters wooden bats. He goes to a major league team and tries
out. Naturally, the rookies scoff at the middle-aged man on the mound, but he miraculously strikes out every man he faces, his "screwball" hopping, bouncing, jerking, and flitting around the mightily swung bats. Vernon is signed as a starting pitcher and, using his secret solution, manages to win
38 games that season and almost single-handedly win the World Series for his team.
There are many hilarious moments in IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING, not the least of which occurs when Douglas, as Milland's catcher roommate, finds the bottle of solution and, thinking it's hair tonic, sprinkles it on his head. Trying to brush it with a wooden brush, he watches in shock as his hair does
a St. Vitus Dance. Milland is very funny as the furtive scientist-pitcher, and Peters is very attractive, if underused. The most uproarious scenes take place on the baseball fields, where Milland's doctored ball sends players and fans into hysterics. The baseball footage itself is a marvel, with
director Bacon managing to reproduce a completely authentic atmosphere. Foolish but fun.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: That fine farceur Milland shines as Vernon Simpson, a professorial scientist turned baseball wizard in this side-splitting comedy that has become a minor classic. Davies, who wrote the marvelous script for MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, came up with another winn… (more)