Alibi Ike
Lobby card
Directed byRay Enright
Screenplay byWilliam Wister Haines
Based on"Alibi Ike"
1915 story in The Saturday Evening Post
by Ring Lardner
Produced byEdward Chodorov
CinematographyArthur L. Todd
Edited byThomas Pratt
Music byLeo F. Forbstein
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • June 15, 1935 (1935-06-15) (US)
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States

Alibi Ike is a 1935 American romantic comedy film directed by Ray Enright and starring Joe E. Brown, Olivia de Havilland and William Frawley. Based on the short story of the same name by Ring Lardner, first published in the Saturday Evening Post on July 31, 1915, the film is about an ace baseball player nicknamed "Alibi Ike" for his penchant for making up excuses. Lardner is said to have patterned the character after baseball player King Cole.

Alibi Ike was the most successful of Joe E. Brown's "baseball trilogy" of films, which also included Elmer, the Great and Fireman, Save My Child. It is considered one of the best baseball comedies of all time.[1][2] Alibi Ike was the first feature film released starring Olivia de Havilland, although she made two previous films that were released later that year—The Irish in Us and the all-star Shakespeare epic A Midsummer Night's Dream, which also starred Joe E. Brown in a key role.

A print of the film is held by the Library of Congress.[3]


Frank X. Farrell (Joe E. Brown) is an ace baseball player, although he compulsively downplays his achievements, claiming he could do even better except if it weren't for factors like the weather, or a cold, or other issues beyond his control. And on occasions where he does make a mistake -- whether on or off the field -- he can't ever let it go without an often ridiculously implausible explanation. His obsessive insistence on making excuses earns him the nickname "Alibi Ike." In the course of his first season with the Chicago Cubs, Farrell falls in love with Dolly Stevens (Olivia de Havilland), sister-in-law of the team's manager. Farrell's "alibi" habit prompts Dolly to walk out on him, after which he goes into a slump—which coincides with attempts by gamblers to get Farrell to throw the World Series.[4]


Cast notes:

See also


  1. ^ Erickson, Hall. "Alibi Ike". Allmusic. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Harrison's Reports and Film Reviews June 29, 1935.
  3. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, (<-book title) page 4 c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  4. ^ Alibi Ike at AllMovie