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Baseball Movies for Grownups

Catch up on some classic old-timers on DVD

Back to Play Ball! Main PageKill the Umpire (1950) Pug-faced William Bendix was born to play an ump, and he's gloriously grumpy in this comedy about a guy whose sole pleasure in life is in heckling the officials who call the local minor league baseball games. When he suddenly gets laid off from work, guess what's the only job available? Yep. “Tryin’ to make an umpire out of me,” he moans, “that’s the lowest thing that can happen to a man!” Of course, when he puts on that mask he finds himself subjected to the same abuse he dished out for so long (it doesn’t help that, when the umpiring crew walks out on the field, the stadium sound system plays “Three Blind Mice”).Written by Frank Tashlin, who directed many of the great Warner Brothers 'toons of the 1940s, Kill the Umpire is a manic masterpiece.

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