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Style in Review: Angels in the Outfield (1951)
I've been in desperate need of a pick-me-up heading into Week 3 of shelter in place in LA when I came across just what the doctor ordered with ANGELS in the OUTFIELD featuring Janet Leigh and Paul Douglas. I know... I know... another black and white movie, Robbin... C'mon! BUT. .. hear me out, this one will really make you re-believe in humanity and angels in 90 minutes!
Obviously, we're all familiar with the infamous 1994 version featuring Danny Glover as the mean coach and adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the sad little kid who sees angels, BUT did you know that the original cute little kid was a little girl orphan that allows Coach and Janet Leigh's character to save the day? !?!??!?!
Obviously, the first thing to note here is FASHION. JANET LEIGH!!!
See how we'd imagine this strong lead star would style her uniform today:
This isn't your traditional baseball cap or bandana, but think JL would rock Gilded Ari with her baseball outfit.
We'd pair her off Duty look in a blousy button down with a long layer that symbolizes fierceness i.e. Keaton.
...If there was a victory ring for being awesome... Carter would be it.
Ok... but seriously, let's get down to why this film is awesome. WARNING: I'm spoiling some of the story and plot for you, but you were just watching it for the fashion and baseball anyway, right?
Janet Leigh plays the badass babe who is the only female reporter in a racket of male sports writers. She falls into the spot and is accepted by her peers, but she does NOT accept the storylines that everyone else accepts about the Coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates and goes in to the research herself. She gets to know the Coach and together they form a mini-family with an orphan girl who SEES the ANGELS that the Coach only hears....
Janet Leigh gets down to it, putting two and two, seeing the goodness of the Coach, seeing the pure hearted delighted goodness of the girl.
The real highlight of the story is the hilarity of the voice of the main angel. Coming out in the earliest part of the 50s, the film is no way near as slapstick-y as the 90s version. It's the HEART shown of a man who loses hope in himself, his team and the possibility to work together to do good VS. the transformation that takes no less than 1) the bullying of an angel who lived on earth as a pro baseball player, 2) a strong independent, beautiful woman who knows what she wants and 3) the pure hopefulness of a child is incredible and just what you might need.
It reminds us all that we have agency and can come back reconnaissance that with love and support, we can get back on track.
Thanks for joining in! xxxxx! til next time!
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