The Stratton Story
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|The Stratton Story|
1949 theatrical poster
|Directed by||Sam Wood|
|Produced by||Jack Cummings|
|Written by||Douglas Morrow
|Music by||Adolph Deutsch|
|Edited by||Ben Lewis|
The Stratton Story is a 1949 film directed by Sam Wood which tells the true story of Monty Stratton, a Major League Baseball pitcher who pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1934-1938. This is the first of three movies that paired stars Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, the others being The Glenn Miller Story and Strategic Air Command. Stratton commented that Mr. Stewart "did a great job of playing me, in a picture which I figure was about as true to life as they could make it".
The Stratton Story was a financial success and won the Academy Award for best Writing — Motion Picture Story.
Texas farm boy Monty Stratton (Stewart) demonstrates a knack for throwing a baseball. He manages to get a tryout with the Chicago White Sox that is followed by a contract. A teammate introduces him to a young woman named Ethel (Allyson) and soon they are married and raising a family.
In the off-season of 1938, Stratton accidentally shoots himself in his right leg while on a hunting trip. When his leg has to be amputated, it looks as though his pitching career is over. Nevertheless, with a wooden leg and the support of his wife, Stratton is able to make a successful minor league comeback in 1946.
- James Stewart as Monty Stratton
- June Allyson as Ethel
- Frank Morgan as Barney Wile
- Agnes Moorehead as Ma Stratton
- Bill Williams as Eddie Dibson
- Bruce Cowling as Ted Lyons
- Cliff Clark as Josh Higgins
- Mary Lawrence as Dot
- Dean White as Luke Appling
- Robert Gist as Earnie
- Gene Bearden as Himself
- Bill Dickey as Himself
- Jimmy Dykes as Himself
- Mervyn "Merv" Shea as Himself
Ronald Reagan had sought the title role but was under contract with Warner Bros., which did not want to release Reagan for the film because they thought the movie would be a failure. Van Johnson was also announced at one stage to play the lead.
Scenes were staged at various baseball parks, including:
- Comiskey Park in Chicago, the home field of Stratton's team, the White Sox.
- Gilmore Field, the home of the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, used in the final scenes of the film, which were set in Texas.
- Wrigley Field, the Los Angeles version, was used in some scenes.
- Stock footage was used of some other American League baseball parks, in establishing shots.
Moorehead reportedly met her second husband, actor Robert Gist, during the making of this film.
According to MGM records the film earned $3,831,000 in the US and Canada and $657,000 overseas resulting in a profit of $1,211,000.