Diamond Movie Reviews

Do you like Baseball?

Do you like cats?

Are you Duane Pesice?

Well, even if you're not, you may get a kick out of the move Rhubarb from 1951 starring Ray Milland and directed by Arthur Lubin (The Incredible Mr. Limpet / Mr. Ed).

Not familiar with this particular cinematic gem? Well, let me tell you a bit about it. The story begins at a fancy country club in New York, where the millionaire owner of a local baseball team is charmed by a feral cat who keeps stealing the golf balls of the other millionaires on the course. In fact he's so charmed, he must have the cat for himself. So he instructs his assistant, played by Ray Milland, to bring it home.

Milland manages to do so, but not without nearly losing life and limb to the aggressive feline. And once it's home, the cat nearly tears down the entire mansion. But the ball club owner couldn't be more pleased. He loves the fight and guile the cat shows and only wishes the players on his team had the same attributes.

Eventually, the cat becomes more docile and a true friend to the eccentric millionaire, but sadly the man soon dies. At the reading of his will, he specifically leaves his ungrateful daughter out of the inheritance and gives everything to Rhubarb the cat.

This makes world news, but not everyone is so happy. The baseball players don't like playing for a cat owner. They are constantly teased by opposing fans. But they soon discover that Rhubarb is actually good luck, and the New York Loons go on a torrid winning streak while Rhubarb attends every game with a front row seat.

Without spoiling the rest of the amazing plot too much, the film has courtroom drama, dog fights, romantic cats, bookmakers, mobsters, car chases and much more. It's playing now on the Criterion Channel in their Cat Movie Collection.

Rhubarb (1951) - IMDb

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