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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A DISNEY TREASURE COMES TO DVD

10/10
Author: Spanky McFarland from Pittsburgh, PA
5 May 2004

"Tiger Town" is 75 minutes of unpretentious, lovingly rendered magic. Written and directed by 25-year-old Alan Shapiro, "Tiger Town" tells the story of a 12-year-old Detroit Tigers fan, and a veteran ballplayer -- patterned after Al Kaline -- who leads his team to a pennant after a midseason slump.

The boy, played by Justin Henry, believes that he can will his idol into performing well through fierce concentration in the stands. He and the seasoned slugger, played by Roy Scheider, meet in only one brief scene. They have a connection, but it would ruin it to label it. You could call it a film about baseball and faith, but that sounds corny and this film isn't.

Much of the production focuses on baseball action, and it's elegantly and excitingly executed with a fervent fan's eye for intriguing detail. Crisp photography, adroit sound modulation, deft editing and a bright, economical score all add to the impact of this charismatic mood piece. The film was shot at Tiger Stadium, and at other Detroit locations, which are evocatively conveyed.

Henry's low-key performance in this film is winsome without being protoypically Disneyesque. As the ballplayer with the blazing bat, Scheider doesn't have many lines, but the range of emotions registered on his face during his triumphs and slumps are priceless. Former Tigers manager and baseball legend Sparky Anderson, Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell, and ex-Supreme Mary Wilson make cameo appearances and enhance the authentic flavor of the film.

But it's Shapiro's success, right down to the tension he builds as Henry almost misses the final game. Packed with inventiveness, vitality and economy, "Tiger Town" strikes home. Shapiro's brought of a gem of a film.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

You Gotta Believe

8/10
Author: Chad Perman (cperman@u.washington.edu)
25 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Man I loved this movie when I was a little kid. It had everything I thought was important at the time: baseball, faith, and humor. I know it's pretty sad, but this movie left an indelible mark on my young life, which I doubt I've shaken to this day. Roy Schneider (don't ask me what he was doing in this!) of "Jaws" fame, plays an aging all-star for the Detroit Tigers, who are seriously slumping. He thinks he's lost his magic touch as a hitter, and in fact it seems he has. All of Detroit has given up on him except for one young kid, who somehow manages to restore Schneider's faith in the game and in himself. The trick: he shows up at every game and whenever he gets up to bat, the kid closes his eyes and squeezes his hands really tight together in some sort of possessed prayer to the Baseball God. And it works. Soon, the Tigers have moved from last place to first and the whole town has "Tiger Fever", of course there comes a time towards the end when the kid can't make it to the game on time and it's up to Roy to do it on his own...but it's a Disney movie, come on, what do you think happens? Anyways, it's an enjoyable movie, focusing on baseball , childhood faith and an aging athlete's redemption. Give it a chance (if you can find it anywhere!)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hopefully it will be my boys favorite

10/10
Author: shipps-1 from Flint, MI
12 April 2005

I never knew this film existed until I was looking for 80's Detroit Tiger games on ebay and saw this old VHS. My wife and I are having a boy in august and I have been shopping for Disney movies anyway and accidentally came across a Detroit Tiger Disney movie. Seeing I am a huge Tiger fan and plan to take my boy to many games at comerica park this film will be perfect for getting him a jump on becoming a Tiger fan too. I just watched it the other day and I think any kid would love this film. Maybee if my dad wasn't such a piece of crap I too would have enjoyed this movie as a kid. If you have kids who are into baseball or into sports in general then you should buy a used VHS copy of Tiger Town on ebay. I know there have been people on this board who said it came out on DVD in august of 2004 but trust me I have looked everywhere on the internet and it is nowhere to be found!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great inspirational flick for kids...one to grow up with.

Author: Cory Smith (car_lover3@hotmail.com) from Yorktown, VA
23 February 2004

I LOVED this movie when I was a kid! I grew up all over the world - dad was in the Air Force, but mom and dad were BOTH born and raised in Detroit so, naturally, I've been a Tigers fan since BIRTH! This movie is great - a must-see for Tiger fans - all 5 of us! Hehe...just kidding!

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With Eyes of a Child & An Adult

7/10
Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
6 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember watching this for the first time on the Disney Channel when I was a 5 year old in 1983. What I recall watching was a 2 hour drama about a Boy that had magically powers that could make a Baseball player hit home-runs. Now, 33 years later I see Tiger Town for what it is, a 76 minute movie that deals with death, doubt, fear and the hope of believing in something that others don't. Watching as an Adult, Tiger Town does have its limitations as a movie, but also has several powerful moments which a Child would not notice or appreciate. The Father, Buddy, is obviously depressed and dying. Unable to find employment, unwanted to a degree, he can only shelter his Son from the large crowds and the rawness that Detroit was and still is. Moments shared at the Italian restaurant are very similar to the restaurant scene in the Bicycle Thieves as the relationship between Father and Son. The scene is very simple but beautiful. With the death of his Dad, the movie shows how lost and scared Alex is among the mob of the city. The large crowds at the ball game suffocates the audience as he tries to get to his seat. You feel how alone and sad he is without his Dad. The character of Billy Young is not just an old baseball player but a surrogate Father to Alex. The times he spent with his Dad at the ballgame is reflected in the hope Alex has for Billy. The ending cries a moment similar from the movie 400 Blows where Alex is left alone (in the end) at the empty ball park. The movie ends with Alex now able to start his own life. The prophecy that "Buddy" left for Alex has been for-filled. He can now believe in something else. Hopefully himself! Tiger Town showcases the bleak reality of life, Aka Detroit. We see the meanness in the streets and the characters. The city is imperfect. Alex is also imperfect. The home they live in, the school he attends. Nothing is perfect. Alex is bullied at school, looked down upon and ridiculed by many in the movie. Finding out his Father died by finding a room full of strangers in his house. Having strangers look down at him as he enters the ball park only adds to the truth that Alex is unwanted and alone. Nobody will give him 50 cents to ride the bus. Alex sits among people at lunch but doesn't interact. Alex needs to believe in Billy but more importantly, the struggle for him to believe in himself is the overall climax of the movie. Many of the scenes where Alex has doubt, we hear the same sad music play in the background. It is the same song that is playing when Billy Young runs toward home plate to score the winning run. It is these moments of doubt that you truly need to believe in yourself. That is the overall message of the movie.

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Return To A "Simpler" Time

8/10
Author: John T. Ryan (redryan64@hotmail.com) from United States
1 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

IF OUR MEMORY serves us well, this came out about the same time as did Barry Levinson's THE NATURAL. There are some parallels, but each picture follows a different path to a satisfactory conclusion.

IN THE CASE of the Robert Redford vehicle, the story revolves around a 35 year old rookie, who has been given one last chance to make good with his God given talents. On the other hand, TIGER TOWN addresses itself to aging in sport and doing so gracefully. It carefully puts the subject, Detroit Tigers' star player (Roy Scheider)under a cinematic microscope, exposing both on and off field problems.

FURTHERMORE, IT SHOWS us how the devotion and care of a young fan can make a difference. Although the two never actually meet, there is definitely a spiritual and intellectual connection. The young kid is a fan who is always pulling for the struggling outfielder, wishing the best for his Baseball hero.

WITHOUT BEING OBVIOUS and heavy handed, the story is telling us that the kid is praying for the Ballplayer and is seeing how aid is coming to the old, grizzled veteran.

NOW, YOU CAN call me quaint, old-fashioned or whatever, but that's how we see it. In this 'modernm' age of secularism, such beliefs are relegated to all of us "simpletons" who, according to our current Chief Executive of the USA, cling to our Bibles and Guns.

THE STORY PORTRAYED in this Disney Television Production concludes with the Ballplayer's being successful and instinctively acknowledging the kid, who is sitting in the crowded stands at old Tiger Stadium; although the two have never met.

IN A WORD, it's the Power of Prayer manifested and retold anew.

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Awesome

8/10
Author: jelloshot0808-1 from United States
4 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When ever I think of my father (passed in 1997) I think of this movie.

He was a huge Tigers fan and the only time I ever saw him cry was in 1984 after the Tigers won the World Series.

I think this movie was awesome.

Made me hate the Cardinals even more when they neat the Tigers in the WS in 2007.

I heard a rumor they were thinking about remaking the movie a few years before Roy died.

They wanted him to be the young baseball fan's father.

This is one of a few movies I wish they would remake.

The original would still rule, but I would go see the remake.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great Detroit movie

10/10
Author: captainandcokeasap from United States
25 July 2006

I love this movie for a few reasons. First it was about the slumping Tigers and this was in 1983. If you remember, the Tigers won the series in 1984. Second, the fact that it casts Ernie Harwell, Ray Lane, and Sparky Anderson. Now that Comerica Park is built, Tiger Stadium stands sadly wilting away a few blocks away. This movie now reminds me of what it used to be like to watch a game at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. From the Bismarck brand vendors to the right field upper deck that hung over the warning track. I loved Tiger Stadium. This movie has a good plot but the rest of the Tiger surroundings are what make it special.

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