Cover image for Mr. Deeds goes to Yankee Stadium : baseball films in the Capra tradition
Mr. Deeds goes to Yankee Stadium : baseball films in the Capra tradition
Gehring, Wes D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
175 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
First inning. Passing the populist legacy from Will Rogers to Frank Capra -- Second inning. The pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig -- Third inning. The Stratton story: close parallels to Gehrig's pride -- Fourth inning. Angels in the outfield: a populist fantasy -- Fifth inning. The natural: a populist adaptation of a literary classic -- Sixth inning. Bull Durham: a sexy packaging of populism -- Seventh inning. Field of dreams: America's favorite baseball film -- Eighth inning. Frequency: an unconventional showcasing of populist baseball -- Ninth inning. The rookie: back to populist biography with a Cinderella story.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1995.9.B28 G44 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Celebrated film director Frank Capra was a central architect of the "feel good" movie genre now known as populism, which celebrates people, families, second chances, and other traditional American icons such as small town or pastoral life and baseball. Capra developed his own brand of populism by interweaving traditional values of the genre with a younger, more vulnerable hero starting with Mr. Deeds Goes to Town in 1936. The result, Capraesque populism, has had a significant influence on American pop culture in general and forms a small but important subgenre of baseball movie. This book examines eight of these Capraesque baseball films, starting with the all-important Pride of the Yankees (1942), which one admiring critic has called "Mr. Deeds Goes to Yankee Stadium." An introduction provides an overview of baseball and populism. Individual chapters are devoted to the populist legacy from Will Rogers (Capra's mentor) to Capra, The Pride of the Yankees, The Stratton Story, Angels in the Outfield, The Natural, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Frequency and The Rookie.

Author Notes

Wes D. Gehring is a professor of film at Ball State University and an associate media editor for USA Today magazine, for which he also writes the column "Reel World."

Table of Contents

Carl ErskineSteve Bell
Forewordp. 9
Forewordp. 11
Author's Notes and Acknowledgmentsp. 13
Preface: Populism as a Mirror of Our Best Selfp. 15
Introduction: A Baseball and Populism Primerp. 21
Inning 1 Passing the Populist Legacy from Will Rogers to Frank Caprap. 35
Inning 2 The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrigp. 49
Inning 3 The Stratton Story: Close Parallels to Gehrig's Pridep. 66
Inning 4 Angels in the Outfield: A Populist Fantasyp. 78
Inning 5 The Natural: A Populist Adaptation of a Literary Classicp. 90
Inning 6 Bull Durham: A Sexy Packaging of Populismp. 104
Inning 7 Field of Dreams: America's Favorite Baseball Filmp. 115
Inning 8 Frequency: An Unconventional Showcasing of Populist Baseballp. 126
Inning 9 The Rookie: Back to Populist Biography with a Cinderella Storyp. 135
Epiloguep. 146
Notesp. 153
Selected Filmographyp. 163
Bibliographyp. 165
Indexp. 173