Roogie’s Bump (1954)

ROOGIE’S BUMP (1954)
Article #1635 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-5-2005
Posting Date: 2-2-2006
Directed by Harold Young
Featuring Robert Marriott, Ruth Warrick, Olive Blakeney

A young boy is rejected by his bullying peers who won’t play baseball with him. He then meets the ghost of a pitcher, who causes a bump to grow on his arm that gives him super-pitching power. This catches the attention of the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and…

It would be so easy to chalk this one up as a ridiculous children’s movie and have done with it; the premise is certainly silly, some of the scenes of him using his pitching power are laughable, the dialogue is full of unintentional double entendres, and much of the story is pretty clichéd. In fact, having seen this one before, I was fully prepared to merely poke fun at it at this time. Instead, I found myself somewhat appreciating some of the things the movie does right. Sure, it’s silly, but it’s also unassuming and sincere. It also has a point, and the point is also something that may be too sophisticated for the children’s audience; if the movie is about anything, it’s about the way that publicity and exploitation has taken over the sport. No, the movie never becomes a satire, though the elements are there; it does remain a movie for the kids. But it does have its serious side, and in its way, the movie is quite true to itself. It’s also a movie that could be enjoyable to fans of the Dodgers, as it features several players from the team appearing as themselves. Best of all, the story does not include a storyline in which Roogie is kidnapped before the big game. Director Harold Young directed some minor Universal horrors from the forties, and William Harrigan (who plays the ghost of Red O’Malley) is probably best remembered for playing Kemp in THE INVISIBLE MAN.

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