The Babe Ruth Story (1948)

The Babe Ruth Story (1948) movie poster

director Roy Del Ruth
viewed: 04/05/2018

“He cured a crippled child by simply saying ‘Hiya, kid.’”

The Babe Ruth Story is an old school bad movie. In fact, it’s the second oldest on the ever-evolving Wikipedia page of “films considered the worst”, a list that I feel compelled to work through, though hewing much more to the earlier than the more recent.

But really, it’s not nearly as bad as you might think. Mostly.

It’s a chipper sports legend life story, adapted from Ruth’s own ghost written autobiography, released as the Babe was dying from cancer (he died three weeks after release). It’s goofy and good-natured, if hardly trying to portray reality. And starring William Bendix, Claire Trevor, and William Frawley, it’s not light on talent.

That said, its most hilariously ridiculous moments are legendary for good reason. The Babe didn’t die for our sins, but does have a Christ-like ability to cure others by just saying hi to an invalid, or rescuing a dog he hit with a foul ball (“Please don’t let Peewee die, Babe. You said you wouldn’t.” ), or hitting a home run for a kid too weak to open his eyes (“Babe, don’t forget Johnny!”).

Even as he is dying from cancer, the Babe also risks his life to try the newfound treatment of chemotherapy to save the lives of other sick kids for all times.

I kinda liked the big lug. The movie, I mean.

 

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