The Basketball Fix (1951)

65, 68 or 70 mins | Drama | 13 September 1951

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HISTORY

Actor John Phillips is credited onscreen as "Johnny Phillips." Voice-over narration, spoken by John Ireland as "Pete Ferreday," is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to reviews, the film was released just after point-shaving and game-fixing scandals unsettled college basketball in 1950 and 1951. The Basketball Fix was the first Jack Broder production with the distribution by Realart Pictures, Inc. According to a 15 Apr 1952 HR news item, Edward Leven filed a $50,000 suit against Jack Broder Productions, charging that Leven did not receive producer screen credit on The Basketball Fix or Bride of the Gorilla . Though the outcome of the suit is unknown, Edward Leven was listed as the producer on the print viewed. ... More Less

Actor John Phillips is credited onscreen as "Johnny Phillips." Voice-over narration, spoken by John Ireland as "Pete Ferreday," is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to reviews, the film was released just after point-shaving and game-fixing scandals unsettled college basketball in 1950 and 1951. The Basketball Fix was the first Jack Broder production with the distribution by Realart Pictures, Inc. According to a 15 Apr 1952 HR news item, Edward Leven filed a $50,000 suit against Jack Broder Productions, charging that Leven did not receive producer screen credit on The Basketball Fix or Bride of the Gorilla . Though the outcome of the suit is unknown, Edward Leven was listed as the producer on the print viewed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Sep 1951.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 1951
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Aug 1951
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 1951
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1951
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Sep 1951
p. 1034.
New York Times
14 Sep 1951
p. 21.
Variety
19 Sep 1951
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 September 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 September 1951
Production Date:
mid March 1951 at Hal Roach Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Jack Broder Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1661
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65, 68 or 70
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15307
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Pete Ferreday, a popular sports columnist, scouts basketball talent for his college alma mater and looks up sure-shot Johnny Long, a local high school player he has covered. When Pete offers him a scholarship, good-hearted Johnny declines, saying he must stay in his hometown to take care of his ill father and his kid brother Mickey. Convinced of Johnny's talent, Pete persuades State College coach, cantankerous Nat Becker, to offer Johnny a scholarship for the State team located in town. Johnny accepts the offer and soon after leaves to work the summer at the exclusive Cresthaven country club, where he meets suave Mike Taft, his mistress Lily Courtney, and the beautiful and sweet Pat Judd, with whom Johnny quickly becomes smitten. Pete pays Johnny a visit during the summer and in a discussion with Taft, Pete reveals that he is running a campaign to get the college players a better break financially. Taft claims to be investing in sports, but Pete accuses him of bookmaking. Pete leaves Cresthaven warning Johnny to watch out for the money-hungry Taft. As their stay at Cresthaven comes to a close, Johnny and Pat's affection blossoms and the two profess their love for each other. Fall arrives and Johnny wins game after game for State. At mid-season Taft approaches Johnny after a game, offering him $100 for "helping" Taft profit from the games but Johnny refuses the money. However, at Christmas time, Johnny is frustrated that he cannot buy Mickey or Pat presents and asks Taft for a job. Instead Taft offers Johnny $500 to fix a game by missing a couple of baskets, explaining that bettors do not bet on which team wins ... +


Pete Ferreday, a popular sports columnist, scouts basketball talent for his college alma mater and looks up sure-shot Johnny Long, a local high school player he has covered. When Pete offers him a scholarship, good-hearted Johnny declines, saying he must stay in his hometown to take care of his ill father and his kid brother Mickey. Convinced of Johnny's talent, Pete persuades State College coach, cantankerous Nat Becker, to offer Johnny a scholarship for the State team located in town. Johnny accepts the offer and soon after leaves to work the summer at the exclusive Cresthaven country club, where he meets suave Mike Taft, his mistress Lily Courtney, and the beautiful and sweet Pat Judd, with whom Johnny quickly becomes smitten. Pete pays Johnny a visit during the summer and in a discussion with Taft, Pete reveals that he is running a campaign to get the college players a better break financially. Taft claims to be investing in sports, but Pete accuses him of bookmaking. Pete leaves Cresthaven warning Johnny to watch out for the money-hungry Taft. As their stay at Cresthaven comes to a close, Johnny and Pat's affection blossoms and the two profess their love for each other. Fall arrives and Johnny wins game after game for State. At mid-season Taft approaches Johnny after a game, offering him $100 for "helping" Taft profit from the games but Johnny refuses the money. However, at Christmas time, Johnny is frustrated that he cannot buy Mickey or Pat presents and asks Taft for a job. Instead Taft offers Johnny $500 to fix a game by missing a couple of baskets, explaining that bettors do not bet on which team wins but on the point spread. Johnny once again refuses but his honest earnings cannot pay for the expensive engagement ring Pat has picked out. One evening Johnny borrows his teammate Jed Black's car to take Pat out, but the evening is ruined when Johnny becomes agitated because he cannot afford the club bill, much less a marriage. Pat warns him not to take short cuts but Johnny's impatience only grows and Pat leaves upset. Later that evening when Johnny returns the car to Jed's, he is surprised to see Taft there. Jed admits to Johnny that he has been fixing the games. Taft then craftily uses Johnny's shame about money to manipulate him into agreeing to fix the games. Johnny, though reluctant at first, does begin to miss points during the next few games. He then spends his fixing profits on Pat's engagement ring at the local jeweler; however, the salesmen are suspicious when the young man pays for the purchase with $1,000 in cash and call the police. Later Johnny invites Pat out for the evening and as he gives her the ring and pays for the dinner bill, an investigator watches from another table, taking notes on Johnny's expenses. Having bought the ring, Johnny wants to pull out of the racket and, in an effort to make up for past games, he makes more baskets than ever and takes the team to the state championship. On the day before the championship, Taft threatens to use violence if Johnny does not fix the game but Johnny is undeterred and State wins the championship. However, after the game Taft threatens to hurt Pat if Johnny does not fix the next game, the national championship. Taft offers Johnny $2,000 but Johnny refuses the money and promises to do it as long as Pat is not hurt. The day before the nationals Pete writes a column in an effort to shame Johnny into playing straight. Johnny reads the article and then has to face Mickey, whose enthusiasm for his game convinces him to play straight. At the game Johnny plays well but during a time-out, he notices that Pat's seat next to Pete is empty. Johnny is tortured, thinking that Taft's thugs are holding Pat. State leads during the first half but in the third quarter, the score conspicuously narrows as Johnny begins to fix the game. At the close of the fourth quarter, Lt. Garrett of the vice squad pulls Johnny and Jed from the game on suspicion of throwing the game. As the police walk Johnny, handcuffed, out the back of the gym, Pat explains to him that the police picked her up for questioning before the game. Pete watches as they take Johnny away and, remembering the police report from the jeweler, sadly states, "It looks like it is going to cost him more than he figured."
+

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.