Kill the Umpire (1950)

77-78 mins | Comedy | December 1950

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writer:

Frank Tashlin

Producer:

John Beck

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

Charles Nelson

Production Designer:

Perry Smith

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

A number of players from the Hollywood Stars, a minor league baseball team, appeared in the film. The players included Jim Baxes, Irv Noren, Murray Franklin, Lou Stringer, Frank Kelleher, Bill Schuster, Pinky Woods, Chuck Herman, Cliff Dapper, Jean Pierre Roy and Edward Oliver. Major league ballplayers George "Catfish" Metkovich, Gerry Priddy, Gilly Campbell, Willard Ramsdell and Duke Snider also appeared in the cast. Some scenes were shot on location at Gilmore Field in Los Angeles, the home ballpark of the Hollywood ... More Less

A number of players from the Hollywood Stars, a minor league baseball team, appeared in the film. The players included Jim Baxes, Irv Noren, Murray Franklin, Lou Stringer, Frank Kelleher, Bill Schuster, Pinky Woods, Chuck Herman, Cliff Dapper, Jean Pierre Roy and Edward Oliver. Major league ballplayers George "Catfish" Metkovich, Gerry Priddy, Gilly Campbell, Willard Ramsdell and Duke Snider also appeared in the cast. Some scenes were shot on location at Gilmore Field in Los Angeles, the home ballpark of the Hollywood Stars. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Apr 1950.
---
Daily Variety
1 May 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Apr 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 49
p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 May 50
p. 285.
New York Times
29 May 50
p. 10.
Variety
3 May 50
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bob Wilke
James O'Gatty
Joe Palma
Ed Peil Sr.
Grace Hampton
Johnny Kascier
Kid Chissell
Jack Gordon
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
Wrt for the scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1950
Production Date:
29 November--24 December 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 May 1950
Copyright Number:
LP307
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77-78
Length(in feet):
7,000
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14251
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When spring training begins in St. Petersburg, Florida, avid baseball fan Bill Johnson cannot keep away and has lost several jobs because of his obsession. Bill, a former baseball player, is married to Betty, the daughter of retired umpire Jonah Evans, but has total contempt for umpires. When Bill loses yet another job, Jonah suggests that he become an umpire and earn his living at the ballpark. After much protest, Bill agrees to attend an umpires' school run by Jonah's friend Jimmy O'Brien, but determines to do everything he can to get kicked out of the school. After many intentional blunders, Bill is asked to leave. While waiting for the train home, Bill breaks up a fight at a boys' softball game, and the players ask him to act as umpire. The experience helps Bill understand the value of the umpires, and he begs Jimmy to take him back. This time, Bill works hard to succeed. The night before graduation, Bill studies late and the next morning uses some eye drops belonging to his roommate, Roscoe Snooker, to soothe his eyes. The drops cause him to see double, and consequently, Bill makes every call twice, earning him the nickname "Two Call Johnson." After graduation, Roscoe and Bill are assigned to the Texas League, where Bill's tough but fair calls make him popular with the fans. Then a group of gamblers try to bribe Bill, and when he refuses them, they unsuccessfully try to frame him. Bill's honesty causes him problems with the fans, however, when, during a close game, he makes a difficult call and is attacked by one ... +


When spring training begins in St. Petersburg, Florida, avid baseball fan Bill Johnson cannot keep away and has lost several jobs because of his obsession. Bill, a former baseball player, is married to Betty, the daughter of retired umpire Jonah Evans, but has total contempt for umpires. When Bill loses yet another job, Jonah suggests that he become an umpire and earn his living at the ballpark. After much protest, Bill agrees to attend an umpires' school run by Jonah's friend Jimmy O'Brien, but determines to do everything he can to get kicked out of the school. After many intentional blunders, Bill is asked to leave. While waiting for the train home, Bill breaks up a fight at a boys' softball game, and the players ask him to act as umpire. The experience helps Bill understand the value of the umpires, and he begs Jimmy to take him back. This time, Bill works hard to succeed. The night before graduation, Bill studies late and the next morning uses some eye drops belonging to his roommate, Roscoe Snooker, to soothe his eyes. The drops cause him to see double, and consequently, Bill makes every call twice, earning him the nickname "Two Call Johnson." After graduation, Roscoe and Bill are assigned to the Texas League, where Bill's tough but fair calls make him popular with the fans. Then a group of gamblers try to bribe Bill, and when he refuses them, they unsuccessfully try to frame him. Bill's honesty causes him problems with the fans, however, when, during a close game, he makes a difficult call and is attacked by one of the gamblers. He then orders the game forfeited to the other team. Hearing the news, Bill's family rushes to his side. Angry fans mass outside the hotel where Bill is staying, but despite the danger, Bill is determined to call that night's game. Through a ruse, Bill evades the crowd outside the hotel and, after being chased by the irate gamblers, Bill and Roscoe arrive at the field. There, Bill's controversial call is validated by the catcher, who has recovered from the injuries that earlier prevented him from speaking in Bill's favor, and the game proceeds. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.