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Rhubarb Details


is an amusing, if not entirely faithful, adaptation of the H. Allen Smith novel of the same name. When Thaddeus J. Banner (Gene Lockhart), multimillionaire owner of the Brooklyn baseball team, passes away, he wills the team -- and his $30 million estate -- to his pugnacious pet cat Rhubarb. Banner's press agent Eric Yeagar (Ray Milland) finds this hilarious, until he discovers that he's been appointed Rhubarb's guardian and business manager. One of the crosses Yeagar has to bear is the fact that his sweetheart Polly Sickles (Jan Sterling), the daughter of Brooklyn team manager Len Sickles (William Frawley), is deathly allergic to cats. Still, Yeagar must keep Rhubarb with him at all times, especially when the cat turns out to be a good-luck charm for the perennially basement-dwelling Brooklyn ballplayers. Thanks to Rhubarb's inspiration, the team makes it to the Pennant Race, whereupon the plot really thickens. The first two-thirds of adheres to the original Smith novel, culminating with a zany sanity hearing brought about by Banner's disgruntled relatives to prove that the cat is mentally unfit to control the old man's money. But the final reels abandon the novel in favor of a Smith-inspired plot strand, wherein crooked gamblers kidnap the cat to prevent a Brooklyn pennant win. As a result, H. Allen Smith's satiric barbs are somewhat blunted in the final scenes -- which, however, is not to suggest that the film is any less funny than before. One of the better baseball comedies of the era, maintains its merriment right to the end, which is capped by a cameo appearance by a well-known actor who happened to be married to leading lady Jan Sterling. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Ray Milland
as Eric Yeager
Jan Sterling
as Polly Sickles
Gene Lockhart
as Thaddeus J. Banner
William Frawley
as Len Sickles
Elsie Holmes
as Myra Banner
Taylor Holmes
as P. Duncan Munk
Henry Slate
as Dud Logan
James Griffith
as Oggie Meadows
Jim Hayward
as Doom
Donald MacBride
as Phenny
Hal K. Dawson
as Mr. Fisher
Donald Kerr
as Taxi Driver
Edwin Max
as Fish Eye
Hilda Plowright
as Katie
Stuart Holmes
Adda Gleason
as Maid
Leonard Nimoy
as Young ballplayer
Eric Wilton
Roy Gordon
Tristram Coffin
as Dr. Stillman
Strother Martin
as Ballplayer
Harry V. Cheshire
as Mr. Seegle
Oliver Blake
as Cadaver Jones
Stanley Orr
as Newspaper Reporter
Mack Gray
as Detective
Paul Douglas
as Guest
Wilbur Mack
as Golfer
Richard Karlan
as Pencil Louie


Arthur Lubin
George Seaton
William Perlberg
Francis Cockrell
Lionel Lindon
Van Cleave
Composer (Music Score)
Alma Macrorie
Henry Bumstead
Art Director
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Gordon Jennings
Special Effects