Stratton Story, The (1949)

Stratton Story, The (1949)

“I keep saying to myself that I’m the same as everybody else — but I wanted to prove it, to show you.”

Aspiring pitcher Monty Stratton (Jimmy Stewart) is mentored by a former catcher (Frank Morgan) until he makes it to the Major Leagues, where he’s soon a rising star. Shortly after marrying his sweetheart (June Allyson) and having a child, however, Monty is injured in a hunting accident and loses part of his leg; will he eventually make a come-back to the sport he loves so much?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Agnes Moorehead Films
  • Baseball
  • Biopics
  • Disabilities
  • Frank Morgan Films
  • James Stewart Films
  • June Allyson Films
  • Sam Wood Films

This Academy Award winning (for Best Original Story) biopic about Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton is a nicely told, feel-good flick co-starring America’s sweethearts (Stewart and Allyson) five years before they paired up again for The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and then Strategic Air Command (1955). Stewart is seamlessly believable as Stratton, having spent several months rehearsing and using a metal brace while walking in later scenes.

(Apparently Stratton himself was moved to tears by the performance, and thrilled that Stewart was chosen for the role.) Moorehead is somewhat typecast as Stewart’s stern mother, but is allowed to show a refreshing level of nuance in her eventual support of his career and wife.

The baseball scenes (utilizing plenty of real-life cameos) feel accurate and authentic to me, though I’m not a fan so can’t say for sure.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine performances by the leads
  • Harold Rosson’s cinematography

Must See?
No, but it’s a well-done biopic and recommended for baseball fans.


One thought on “Stratton Story, The (1949)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see and in total agreement with the assessment.

    It seems that Monty Stratton served as advisor on this film. It’s a moving example of courage and inspiration.

    The tone of the film is particularly homespun overall but perhaps that has less to do with the intent than the fact that it’s a film from the ’40s… esp. re: the much simpler lives of the main characters.

    I’m not a baseball fan either – and I kept thinking that, in general, sports enthusiasts may prefer watching actual sports over a film about players. But those fans are the target audience here.

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