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Safe at Home! (1962).

October 21, 2008

The Scoop:
It’s World Series time again, which is an ideal time for dusting off this little curio. The New York Yankees may not have made the playoffs this year, but with the Tampa Bay Rays going on their remarkable run, Florida baseball is getting its due. And the Florida locations (shot in and around Fort Lauderdale) provide a strong background for “Safe at Home!”

Wooden acting abounds in this little morality play about a Florida boy (Bryan Russell) who deals with the arrival of his widowed father’s new girlfriend by lying to his Little League teammates about knowing New York Yankee greats Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. So, he has to travel to the Yankees’ spring training camp to get the guys to back him up.

Roger and the Mick are better ballplayers than actors, of course, but at least they (along with teammate Whitey Ford and manager Ralph Houk) manage not to embarrass themselves too much. Along the way, we learn that lying is bad and that the power of baseball can conquer just about everything.

This is a modest, cheesy little film that has a lot to love, even in its inadequacies.

Best Line:
“There’s that kid again! He’s followin’ us! He must be a spook!”

Side Note:
The script was co-written by Robert Dillon ā€“ the auteur behind “Muscle Beach Party” (1964) and “X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes” (1963) ā€“ and Steven Ritch, a veteran actor in many TV Westerns.

Companion Viewing:
“Headin’ Home” (1920) and “Kill the Umpire” (1950).

Links:
IMDb.
IFC.com.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

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