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TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME

1949's TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME ($20) is the kind of magnificent, mindless musical fluff produced by the Hollywood dream factory for only one reason- to entertain the masses. This MGM production stars Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly as Dennis Ryan and Eddie O'Brien, two early 1900's baseball players, who travel around as song and dance men on the vaudeville circuit during the off season. At the start of the new season, we learn that the owner of the Wolves baseball team has died and that the new owner plans on becoming an active participant in the management of the team.

What no one suspects is that the team's new owner; K.C. Higgins (Esther Williams) is actually a woman. Naturally, both Ryan and O'Brien are attracted to the team's new owner, but with her knowledge of baseball and her no nonsense manner, she is always a step or two ahead of the duo. Although Busby Berkeley directed TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME, Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen staged the film's musical numbers, which served as the duos stepping stone to full directorial duties for ON THE TOWN. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME also features a wonderful comic performance from Betty Garrett as Shirley Delwyn, the baseball groupie with eyes for Ryan. The romantic teaming of Garrett and Sinatra was so successful in TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME that it was repeated in ON THE TOWN. Edward Arnold, Jules Munshin and Richard Lane lend high caliber support to the proceedings.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME arrives on DVD in a fine looking full screen presentation courtesy of Warner Home Video. Picture quality on the DVD is quite good, with everything appearing sharp and rather nicely defined. The film element used for the transfer is relatively clean with minor blemishes being the most significant sign of age. Color reproduction is excellent, with the hues on the DVD coming very close to the look of an original IB Technicolor print. Flesh tones are very appealing and there are no signs of chromatic distortion or smearing during the presentation. Black are fairly pure and contrast remains even throughout. The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack does have the frequency limitations of a film that is over fifty years old, however the sound is undistorted and the track is well worth amplifying- after TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME is a musical. Dialogue reproduction is clean and the musical numbers sound quite nice. Subtitles are provided on the DVD in English and French. The basic interactive menus do contain music, as well as providing access to the standard scene selection and set up feature. Extras on the disc include deleted musical numbers Baby Doll and Boy And Girls Like You And Me, as well as three theatrical trailers and biographical information on Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME is an enjoyable old time Hollywood musical that has been given a very nice presentation of DVD by the folks at Warner. If you are a fan of musicals or the film's stars, you can't go wrong by checking out this DVD.

 
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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