It Happens Every Spring (1949)

It Happens Every Spring (1949)

“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.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Baseball
  • Jean Peters Films
  • Mistaken or Hidden Identities
  • Paul Douglas Films
  • Ray Milland Films
  • Scientists

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

Must See?
No; feel free to skip this one. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “It Happens Every Spring (1949)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see and in total agreement with the assessment given. It’s certainly harmless-enough as a mildly amusing comedy but it is *definitely* a one-joke show (with a very slight bit of tension / suspense near the end).

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