Pride of St. Louis, The (1952)

Pride of St. Louis, The (1952)

“Don’t ever forget — I’m still Dizzy Dean!”

Major league baseball pitcher Jerome “Dizzy” Dean (Dan Dailey) marries his sweetheart (Joanne Dru) and has a legendary run of success until injury forces him off the field — but a future in broadcasting beckons…

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Baseball
  • Biopics
  • Dan Dailey Films
  • Has-Beens
  • Joanne Dru Films

Peary’s enduring love of baseball is surely what led to the inclusion of this light-hearted biopic about pitcher-turned-broadcaster “Dizzy” Dean in GFTFF — along with the fact that Herman J. Mankiewicz wrote the script. A good portion of the early storyline focuses on Dean’s obnoxious wooing of Dru:

… most likely to show us Dean’s unique “way with words”, and how he simply won’t take no for an answer. This comes back to bite him later in his career, when a random injury escalates his arm beyond repair and he’s finally forced to acknowledge that he can’t pitch in the big leagues anymore. This leads to mild marital challenges…


… though the remaining narrative tension comes — believe it or not — from school marms upset that Dean’s colloquial English on radio broadcasts is corrupting America’s youth!

Dean appears to have been a beloved figure, and baseball lovers (and/or Dan Dailey fans) may be curious to check this one out — but all-purpose film fanatics shouldn’t consider it must-see.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Dan Dailey as Dizzy Dean

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a baseball nut or curious to see Dailey in a non-musical role.


One thought on “Pride of St. Louis, The (1952)

  1. First viewing (1/5/22). Not must-see.

    ~ however, as baseball flicks go (and Peary sure does love baseball flicks!, and includes too many in his lists), it’s a better one for ffs who aren’t particularly baseball fans. The reason for that is Dailey’s character – who is genuinely interesting, engaging and has a fun sense of humor. So it’s easier to follow him in his progression.

    In particular is the way he woos Dru (and I’m not sure I’m the only person who keeps seeing her as Dorothy McGuire – in tone and demeanor). It’s fun watching her being enamored of his ‘pushy’ manner (which is actually a defense for shyness and lack of experience with women).

    Wikipedia tells us that this is a biopic that stays pretty close to the facts – though the way Dean’s ‘scandal’ re: his use of English seems to be resolved slightly differently in the film version.

    Mankiewicz’s screenplay has a flair for the way Dean / Dailey talks and the story itself is navigated in a way that’s consistently compelling.

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