Safe at Home! (1962)

83 mins | Drama | 13 April 1962

Director:

Walter Doniger

Writer:

Robert Dillon

Producer:

Tom Naud

Cinematographer:

Irving Lippman

Editor:

Frank P. Keller

Production Company:

Naud-Hamilburg Productions
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HISTORY

The 19 Jan 1962 NYT announced the upcoming production, starring baseball players Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the New York Yankees. The 31 Jan 1962 Var reported on a press conference with the two athletes, held five days earlier at the Toots Shor Restaurant in New York City, and sponsored by distributor Columbia Pictures. Mantle and Maris were paid $25,000 each for their appearances in the film, and a twenty-five percent share of profits. Although the article questioned the need for an exclamation point in the title, it might have been intended to differentiate it from the short educational film, Safe at Home (1961), which was mentioned in the 23 May 1961 NYT.
       According to the 22 Jan 1962 DV, director Walter Doniger and assistant director Leonard Katzman arrived the previous day at the Yankees’ Ft. Lauderdale, FL, training camp to scout locations. They were expected in New York City several days later to meet with Mantle and Maris. The 28 Feb 1962 Var noted that publicist George Bennett visited Ft. Lauderdale the following month to do “preliminary work.”
       The 12 Feb 1962 NYT and the 28 Feb 1962 Var reported the start of principal photography on 13 Feb 1962. An article in the 19 Feb 1962 NYT stated that Yankees manager Ralph Houk and approximately twenty rookie team members were featured in the previous day’s shoot, while the remaining players were given the day off. The 25 Feb 1962 issue revealed that each player received $100 for his participation. The producers ... More Less

The 19 Jan 1962 NYT announced the upcoming production, starring baseball players Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the New York Yankees. The 31 Jan 1962 Var reported on a press conference with the two athletes, held five days earlier at the Toots Shor Restaurant in New York City, and sponsored by distributor Columbia Pictures. Mantle and Maris were paid $25,000 each for their appearances in the film, and a twenty-five percent share of profits. Although the article questioned the need for an exclamation point in the title, it might have been intended to differentiate it from the short educational film, Safe at Home (1961), which was mentioned in the 23 May 1961 NYT.
       According to the 22 Jan 1962 DV, director Walter Doniger and assistant director Leonard Katzman arrived the previous day at the Yankees’ Ft. Lauderdale, FL, training camp to scout locations. They were expected in New York City several days later to meet with Mantle and Maris. The 28 Feb 1962 Var noted that publicist George Bennett visited Ft. Lauderdale the following month to do “preliminary work.”
       The 12 Feb 1962 NYT and the 28 Feb 1962 Var reported the start of principal photography on 13 Feb 1962. An article in the 19 Feb 1962 NYT stated that Yankees manager Ralph Houk and approximately twenty rookie team members were featured in the previous day’s shoot, while the remaining players were given the day off. The 25 Feb 1962 issue revealed that each player received $100 for his participation. The producers were reportedly pleased with Houk’s delivery of a single line of dialogue, and included him in several other scenes. No information was available on his rate of compensation. Also appearing in the picture were Yankees coach Johnny Neun, twenty unidentified Little League baseball players, and Mantle’s six-year-old son, David.
       In the 3 Apr 1962 LAT, columnist Hedda Hopper claimed that lead actress Patricia Barry intervened with Yankee management on behalf of Roger Maris, who was renegotiating his contract with the club. By the time production ended, Maris and his employers had agreed to a $15,000 increase on his $60,000 salary.
       Filming was completed in eleven days, according to the 9 Mar 1962 DV. The 12 Mar 1962 issue noted that composer Van Alexander would be commuting from an engagement in Las Vegas, NV, to Columbia Studios in Los Angeles, CA, to write and record the score, beginning the next day. According to the 27 Apr 1962 DV, Columbia issued a trailer for television broadcast, known as a “Personality Spot,” which featured Maris, Mantle, and co-star William Frawley in a scene written specifically for the advertisement.
       Safe at Home opened 13 Apr 1962 in New York City, and 16 May 1962 in Los Angeles. While critics acknowledged the film’s low budget and hackneyed storyline, several expected it to attract steady business from juvenile baseball fans. The picture was awarded a medal from Parents magazine, declaring it “Movie-of-the-Month” for May 1962. William Frawley’s performance won him the dubious honor of “worst supporting actor” from The Harvard Lampoon.
       A news item in the 11 Jun 1963 LAT stated that the film continued to be a popular attraction at Saturday matinee screenings.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1962
p. 8.
Daily Variety
13 Apr 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
27 Apr 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
4 May 1962
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
3 Apr 1962
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
17 Apr 1962
Section B, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
9 May 1962
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
18 May 1962
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jun 1963
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
23 May 1961
p. 46.
New York Times
19 Jan 1962
p. 26.
New York Times
12 Feb 1962
p. 78.
New York Times
19 Feb 1962
p. 27.
New York Times
25 Feb 1962
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
9 Apr 1962
p. 32.
New York Times
14 Apr 1962
p. 14.
New York Times
6 Apr 1963
p. 9.
Variety
31 Jan 1962
p. 5.
Variety
28 Feb 1962
p. 5, 15.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 April 1962
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 April 1962
Los Angeles opening: 16 May 1962
Production Date:
13--24 February 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Naud-Hamilburg Productions
Copyright Date:
1 April 1962
Copyright Number:
LP22252
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Hutch Lawton has recently moved from New York to Florida with his widower father, who runs a charter fishing boat. When Hutch boasts to his Little League teammates that Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are his father's friends, his lie snowballs and he is forced into promising that he will deliver the two Yankee stars to a Little League banquet. While his father is away on a three-day fishing trip, Hutch hitchhikes a ride to the Yankee spring training camp at Fort Lauderdale. Although he meets Mantle and Maris, the two men refuse to be a party to his deceit. Heartbroken, Hutch returns home to tell the truth to the Little Leaguers and their fathers. Just as he finishes his confession, however, word arrives that Mantle and Maris have invited the Little Leaguers to join them for spring ... +


Hutch Lawton has recently moved from New York to Florida with his widower father, who runs a charter fishing boat. When Hutch boasts to his Little League teammates that Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are his father's friends, his lie snowballs and he is forced into promising that he will deliver the two Yankee stars to a Little League banquet. While his father is away on a three-day fishing trip, Hutch hitchhikes a ride to the Yankee spring training camp at Fort Lauderdale. Although he meets Mantle and Maris, the two men refuse to be a party to his deceit. Heartbroken, Hutch returns home to tell the truth to the Little Leaguers and their fathers. Just as he finishes his confession, however, word arrives that Mantle and Maris have invited the Little Leaguers to join them for spring training. +

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

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