“The more you talk, the more mysterious it gets!”
When a chemistry professor (Ray Milland) accidentally discovers a serum that repels wooden bats from hitting baseballs, he realizes he has a surefire money-making idea which would allow him to finally marry his fiancee (Jean Peters) — so he goes undercover as a major league pitcher.
Valentine Davies — author of Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — wrote the screenplay for this utterly innocuous fantasy flick, which predates The Nutty Professor (1963) (also about a professor discovering a life-altering serum) by 14 years. Unfortunately, there’s very little to recommend about It Happens Every Spring unless you’re a baseball fan who takes great delight in seeing creatively rigged games. There is exactly one joke here (that darn baseball keeps swerving away from the bat!) extended a bit to include a running gag about clueless joes who use the serum as a hair tonic (and thus can’t put a wooden-handled brush to their head), but the entire scenario could easily have been distilled into a half-hour sitcom episode.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Paul Douglas as Monk Lanigan
No; feel free to skip this one. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.