Alibi Ike is a 1935 American romantic comedy film directed by Ray Enright and starring Joe E. Brown and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the short story "Alibi Ike" by Ring Lardner, the film is about an ace baseball player nicknamed "Alibi Ike" due to his penchant for making up excuses. After falling in love with the beautiful sister-in-law of the team manager, he is kidnapped by gangsters who want him to throw the last game of the season and the pennant.
Alibi Ike was the most successful of Joe E. Brown's "baseball trilogy" of films, which also included Elmer the Great and Fireman Save My Child. It is considered one of the best baseball comedies of all time. Alibi Ike was the first feature film released starring Olivia de Havilland, although she made two previous films that were released later that year—The Irish in Us and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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Frank X. Farrell (Joe E. Brown) is an ace baseball player whose insistence upon making up excuses earns him the nickname "Alibi Ike." In the course of his first season with the Chicago Cubs, Farrell also falls in love with Dolly Stevens (Olivia De Havilland), sister-in-law of the team's manager. Farrell's "alibi" habit prompts Dolly to walk out on him, whereupon he goes into a slump—which coincides with attempts by gamblers to get Farrell to throw the World Series.
The film is based on a short story written by Ring Lardner and first published in the Saturday Evening Post on July 31, 1915. The story is about Frank X. Farrell, a baseball player who continually makes excuses for everything that goes wrong or right. For example, when asked what he batted last year, Farrell says that he had had malaria most of the season, which is why he hit only .356. Lardner is said to have patterned Alibi Ike after baseball player King Cole.
In the film, several popular major league baseball players make cameo appearances, including Guy Cantrell, Dick Cox, Cedric Durst, Mike Gazella, Wally Hood, Don Hurst, Smead Jolley, Lou Koupal, Bob Meusel, Wally Rehg, and Jim Thorpe.
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