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Zettel Film Reviews » 5 Best Baseball Movies

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5 Best Baseball Movies

 

5  Best Baseball Movies

 

Wanna play some catch?

1.  Field of Dreams (1989) Phil Alden Robinson.

Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta.

“Build it and he will come.”  Fathers and sons. Love of the game.  A time when baseball still seemed a metaphor for all that was best in American society.  Moving, funny, nostalgic.

 

"This had better work"

2.  Moneyball (2011) Bennett Miller

Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Aaron Sorkin Screenplay.

Baseball as business; where love of the game is now harder to sustain.  Today’s baseball as  a metaphor – but now a metaphor for what?  Teams versus stars.  Being true to yourself. Standing by your beliefs. What it is to ‘win’ and to ‘lose’ in 2011 America.  Is winning a commodity to be bought?  Is the price too high?  Thought provoking, stylish, witty.

 

Natural Flair

3.  The Natural (1984) Barry Levinson

Robert Redford, Robert Duval, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger.

Mystery middle aged batter appears from nowhere and inspires losing team to the top of the league. Second time around fame for Roy Hobbs (Redford) after throwing away early glittering promise through bad decisions and a woman who was trouble.  Instinctive gifts need maturity and judgement to fulfil.

 

Stop thinking. Just pitch

4.  Bull Durham (1988) Ron Shelton

Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins

Regarded as one of the most authentic portrayals of the atmosphere and conflicts of pro-ball.  Costner’s ageing star clashes with youthful Robbins’ power and arrogance.  Both share and clash over love of the game and of a woman:  Sarandon’s part mentor, part groupie get’s everyone hot.

 

Geena Davis as Dottie Hinson

5.  A League Of Their Own (1992) Penny Marshall

Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz

A rarity: not only a sports film but also a baseball film – about women.  True, funny and a lot of fun.  World War II and men’s baseball shuts down.  To keep it alive and make a buck women players are recruited to compete in the first ever womens’ pro-baseball league.  Tom Hanks’ Coach Jimmy Duggan struggles with alcohol and embarrassment at coaching women.  Davis is excellent as real life Dottie Hinson.  Jon Lovitz is a joy as cynical scout Ernie Capadino.

 

Reserves:

The Bad News Bears (1976) – Walter Mattau, Tatum O’Neil
Eight Men Out (1988) – ‘Black Sox’ scandal of the Chicago White Sox in 1919 World series

 

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