The Stratton Story
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Product Description Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton is an affable long drink of water with an easy, whiplike delivery and a pitch so unhittable the young phenom racks up consecutive 15-win seasons. But Stratton's greatest victory doesn't come on the manicured green diamonds of our national pastime. James Stewart portrays Stratton, who loses a leg in an accident just as his career is on the rise...and whose triumph over despair and disability leads him to pitch again. Stewart signed on for the role when he realized the film would be an inspiration to injured World War II GIs. The film still inspires. Awarded an Oscar?* for Best Motion Picture Story, directed by Sam Wood (The Pride of the Yankees) and supported by a top cast that includes real-life ballplayers, The Stratton Story is sports biography at its best. Amazon.com James Stewart and June Allyson enjoyed one of their gee-whiz pairings in The Stratton Story, a baseball biopic with an easy swing. Stewart plays Monty Stratton, who, according to the film, is a country boy plowing the back forty when a transient scout (Frank Morgan) discovers him and hooks him up with the Chicago White Sox. Stratton has a couple of great years, only to be accidentally shot in a hunting accident, which results in his leg being amputated. If you think this is the end of the story, you might want to check the fact that The Stratton Story was one of the biggest box-office hits of 1949. The film rests on director Sam Wood's eye for outdoors American spaces--a country road, small-time baseball parks--and on the can-do chemistry of Stewart and Allyson, whose first teaming this was. ( The Glenn Miller Story and Strategic Air Command would follow.) Audiences adored the lanky Stewart playing off the tiny, low-voiced, indomitably perky Allyson, even if the material is as programmed as a studio pitch meeting. Lovers of nostalgic baseball pictures won't have any problem with the cornball script (a few big-league cameos pass by, notably Bill Dickey). Agnes Moorehead is Stratton's down-home Maw, though she's mostly restricted to a backlot farmhouse. It won an Oscar for best original story, back when they gave Oscars for that. --Robert Horton