Flashing Spikes

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Flashing Spikes
Directed by John Ford
Written by Jameson Brewer
Frank O'Rourke (novel)
Starring James Stewart
John Wayne (billed as "Michael Morris")
Narrated by Fred Astaire
Music by John Williams
Cinematography William H. Clothier
Edited by Richard Belding
Tony Martinelli
Release dates 1962
Running time 53 minutes
Country USA
Language English

Flashing Spikes is a 1962 teleplay directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart, with a lengthy surprise appearance by John Wayne, billed in the credits as "Michael Morris" (apparently based on Wayne's birth name "Marion Michael Morrison"). The hour-long drama revolving around a disgraced ex-baseball player (Stewart) was broadcast as an episode of the anthology series Alcoa Premiere hosted by Fred Astaire.

The script was based upon a novel by Frank O'Rourke and the supporting cast includes Jack Warden, Tige Andrews, Patrick Wayne, Don Drysdale, Vin Scully, Harry Carey, Jr., and Edgar Buchanan. The Director of Photography was William H. Clothier.

This show's director John Ford, actors James Stewart and John Wayne, and cinematographer William H. Clothier also filmed The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance together the same year.

Ford had also directed a half-hour baseball television drama shown on Screen Director's Playhouse in 1955 with an extremely similar theme, Rookie of the Year, also with Patrick Wayne as the phenomenal young player but with his father John Wayne, Vera Miles, and Ward Bond in the leads, all of whom Ford would direct in The Searchers the following year.

Flashing Spikes remains available for public viewing at the Paley Center for Media in New York City and Los Angeles.

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