Death on the Diamond (1934)

69 or 72 mins | Mystery | 14 September 1934

Director:

Edward Sedgwick

Producer:

Lucien Hubbard

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Editor:

Frank Sullivan

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Franchot Tone was first assigned to the role of "Larry" but was replaced by Robert Young prior to production. MPH 's "The Cutting Room" noted that "several oldtime ball players and the present St. Louis and Chicago National League ball clubs" were cast in the film. Pat Flaherty, who plays a coach in the film, was a former New York Giants pitcher. HR production charts add Jim Donlan, Jules Besco, Charles Wilson, Ben Hendricks, Fred Graham and Al Hill to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In addition, HR production charts list Bobs Watson as a cast member. However, the CBCS lists only Bobs's lookalike brother Billy as a bit player. According to an 18 Jun 1934 HR news item, John Waters, an M-G-M special unit director, went to St. Louis to make baseball diamond and grandstand background shots for this film and another unspecified production. Waters was accompanied by cameraman Ray Binger, who was met by Leonard Smith, another M-G-M ... More Less

Franchot Tone was first assigned to the role of "Larry" but was replaced by Robert Young prior to production. MPH 's "The Cutting Room" noted that "several oldtime ball players and the present St. Louis and Chicago National League ball clubs" were cast in the film. Pat Flaherty, who plays a coach in the film, was a former New York Giants pitcher. HR production charts add Jim Donlan, Jules Besco, Charles Wilson, Ben Hendricks, Fred Graham and Al Hill to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In addition, HR production charts list Bobs Watson as a cast member. However, the CBCS lists only Bobs's lookalike brother Billy as a bit player. According to an 18 Jun 1934 HR news item, John Waters, an M-G-M special unit director, went to St. Louis to make baseball diamond and grandstand background shots for this film and another unspecified production. Waters was accompanied by cameraman Ray Binger, who was met by Leonard Smith, another M-G-M photographer. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
23 Aug 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Sep 34
p. 4.
HF
21 Jul 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 34
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 34
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
27 Aug 34
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Aug 34
p. 49.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Sep 34
pp. 36-37.
New York Times
24 Sep 34
p. 14.
Variety
25 Sep 34
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
2nd unit photog
2nd unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Rec dir
Mixer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Death on the Diamond: A Baseball Mystery Story by Cortland Fitzsimmons (New York, 1934).
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 September 1934
Production Date:
mid July--1 August 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 September 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4952
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69 or 72
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
184
SYNOPSIS

At the start of spring training, major league baseball manager and owner Pop Clark brings Larry Kelly, a highly promising young pitcher from the Texas league, to his struggling St. Louis Cardinal team. After chasing off two former players who were kicked off the team for gambling, Pop confides in his daughter Frances, the team's secretary, that if the Cardinals fail to win the pennant, he will lose the franchise to greedy business rival Henry Ainsley. That night, Larry is befriended by the wealthy Joseph Karnes, but is advised by veteran sports reporter Jimmie Downey that Karnes is a notorious gambler. After Mickey, the ballboy, discovers two men tampering with the pitchers' mitts, the team physician announces that the mitts had been covered with a serious skin-damaging substance. Slugger Dunk Spencer, who, like Jimmie, is infatuated with Frances, accuses Jimmie of sabotaging the mitts as a means of reducing his competition. Frances, however, dismisses Spencer's claims and forces the two men to bury their hostilities for the sake of the team. Although the Cardinals are given only twenty-to-one odds to win the pennant, they quickly climb to second place behind Larry's pitching and Spencer's hitting. Worried that he will lose one million dollars, Karnes, who bet against the Cardinals, tries to bribe Larry by leaving $10,000 on his hotel pillow. Larry, however, shows Pop and Jimmie the money, and the bribe attempt is made public. Later, a taxi carrying Larry and his hotdog-loving teammate, Truck Hogan, is shot at and crashes. In the accident, Larry suffers a foot injury that forces him out of the game for two weeks. While Larry is recuperating, the Cardinals ... +


At the start of spring training, major league baseball manager and owner Pop Clark brings Larry Kelly, a highly promising young pitcher from the Texas league, to his struggling St. Louis Cardinal team. After chasing off two former players who were kicked off the team for gambling, Pop confides in his daughter Frances, the team's secretary, that if the Cardinals fail to win the pennant, he will lose the franchise to greedy business rival Henry Ainsley. That night, Larry is befriended by the wealthy Joseph Karnes, but is advised by veteran sports reporter Jimmie Downey that Karnes is a notorious gambler. After Mickey, the ballboy, discovers two men tampering with the pitchers' mitts, the team physician announces that the mitts had been covered with a serious skin-damaging substance. Slugger Dunk Spencer, who, like Jimmie, is infatuated with Frances, accuses Jimmie of sabotaging the mitts as a means of reducing his competition. Frances, however, dismisses Spencer's claims and forces the two men to bury their hostilities for the sake of the team. Although the Cardinals are given only twenty-to-one odds to win the pennant, they quickly climb to second place behind Larry's pitching and Spencer's hitting. Worried that he will lose one million dollars, Karnes, who bet against the Cardinals, tries to bribe Larry by leaving $10,000 on his hotel pillow. Larry, however, shows Pop and Jimmie the money, and the bribe attempt is made public. Later, a taxi carrying Larry and his hotdog-loving teammate, Truck Hogan, is shot at and crashes. In the accident, Larry suffers a foot injury that forces him out of the game for two weeks. While Larry is recuperating, the Cardinals move into first place and need to win only two out of three games to clinch the pennant. During the first crucial game in Chicago, Spencer is shot and killed by a gunman in the stadium as he is about to score the winning run. Because of his rivalry with Spencer, Jimmie is questioned by the police but is not charged. Just before the second game, pitcher Frank Higgins is called to the telephone and, in spite of tight security overseen by groundskeeper and former Cardinal player Patterson, is strangled in the locker room. After Truck leads the Cardinals to victory, one of his hotdogs is laced with poison, and he dies before identifying the killer to police. Although the police want to cancel the last game with the Cincinnati Reds, Pop insists on playing and slates Larry to pitch. When Frances confesses to Pop that she loves Larry, Pop starts to pull him from the lineup but is persuaded by Jimmie, who wants to trap the murderer, to keep his star in the game. During the game, Larry sees someone in the dugout placing an explosive in his warm-up jacket and hurls his baseball at the saboteur's head. After the explosive is safely detonated, the killer is revealed to be Patterson, whose anger at being hired by Pop as a groundskeeper instead of a coach, drove him to conspire with Ainsley to ruin the Cardinals. The mystery solved, Larry slugs the game-winning hit and embraces Frances, his bride-to-be. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.