Long Gone (TV Movie 1987) Poster

(1987 TV Movie)

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Great baseball movie!
KidRalph27 October 2004
How this movie only warranted an HBO premiere and not a theatrical run is astounding. Before "Bull Durham" or "Major League," "Long Gone" is the ultimate tale of "down on their luck baseball team turns things around." I know, it's been done a dozen times, but I love this movie.

Yes, the clichés are all there: "coulda been a star" fading veteran, his love interest, the doe-eyed rookie, the guy who can't get a break, the losing streak, and all that, but this film still works. The dialogue is crisp, the characters are very sharp, and the 1950s setting of the movie is great, shades of a simpler time when base ball was just a "boys game" like the main character Stud Cantrell (played by CSI's William Peterson) says, where "you hit the ball, you run like hell."

The movie touches on real issues from the time as well: premarital sex, racism, and the the like, but never gets preachy. And the ending to the "big game" is one of the more unique I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of them). The soundtrack is great, featuring gospel, honky-tonk, and some classic Hank Williams.

It's not Shakespeare, just a fun romp with a great cast and a great story. Highly recommended!
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Great Baseball Movie
kgh23328 November 2003
This is one of the most underrated baseball movies of all time. Bull Durham was great but got bogged down near the end. Long Gone not only told a great baseball story but managed to mix in a love story and a story about race relations without becoming didactic. Quite a feat. I love this movie!
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A great little movie
Rosabel25 July 1999
Baseball fans can't help but enjoy this film. It's an old story, about a team of losers who make it into a pennant race, but unlike other variations on this theme, it's thoroughly believable. The team takes off when they acquire two new players - a youngster straight off the farm who's a terrific second baseman, and a gifted black catcher whose arrival stirs controversy in the Klan-influenced small town. There are the usual behind-the-scenes machinations one expects, but the film is great in presenting a lot of ballpark scenes, and the final game of the season is played with growing suspense and excitement. The actors are all great, especially Virginia Madsen as Dixie Lee, a woman who looks trashy but quickly shows she's got more guts and integrity than 50 "nice" girls put together. Another performance to note is that of Teller in an unusual speaking role as the sneaky Hale Buchman Jr.; he and Henry Gibson as his father do a great job as the proprietors of a seedy department store and owners of the local team - "sports moguls" as they see themselves. There is a lot to like in this little film.
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Best baseball movie ever made.
eptcb65812 May 2003
The movie "Long Gone" starring William Petersen, Virginia Madsen, and Dermot Mulroney is easily the best baseball movie ever made.

It has the best combination of humor and fun and is much better than "Bull Durham" - the movie to which it is often compared. Whereas "Bull Durham" is pretty good for the first seven innings (the first 7/9ths of the movie) and has one great scene (the meeting on the mound), "Long Gone" is great throughout.

You pull for everyone in "Long Gone".

If there is any movie that deserves to be on DVD, it's "Long Gone". It's easily number one on my list of movies not already on DVD.
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Best Baseball movie ever!!
RPKingery8 July 2002
This is my favorite movie of the 80's. My brother and I (die-hard baseball fans) used to watch this movie almost every day. It's probably one of the best accounts of minor league baseball played down in the south during the days of the Klan. If you can find this movie, I highly suggest you sit down and watch. You won't regret it.
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Simply a marvelous movie.
wtheld4 November 2005
How can anyone ever expect to top Long Gone as a baseball film? From Virginia Madsen's brilliant and tawdry rendition of the National Anthem in the opening scenes to the Tampico Stogies all looking "Handsomer than sh*t" as the movie closes, this movie delivers strong messages about life, bigotry, reality, romance, and life on a bus in the minor leagues. To me, this film left movies like "Bull Durham" in the dust.

Transitioning back and forth between an almost cavalier approach to the game in the 50s and the harsh reality of deep south racism, Long Gone tosses humor or compassion in at exactly the right moment to keep the situation from getting out of hand. I favorably compare "Long Gone" to "Slap Shot" (another of my favorites) in taking an irreverent look at life through the travails of those who dwell just under "the show." Yes, the clichés are there, but the writing is both intelligent and clever and the acting at times brilliant. Besides, how can any movie with the song "Red Hot" by Billy Riley in the soundtrack not be revered by all? I only wish it would come out on DVD soon.
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One of the best baseball movies ever made.
guevara10 July 2000
I saw this movie back when it originally came out on HBO. I Love it! It has it all as far as I am concerned. The actors did such a great job with their characters, Peterson as "Stud" and Madsen as "Dixie" are hilarious. If you can find this movie please check it out, it really is a gem.
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The best baseball movie ever made.
riggs-710 February 1999
A great American film about minor league baseball. The film deals with all the possible paths that a baseball player in the minors has to deal with, from success to failure. There are many stories because more than one player is covered in the film. This film will stay with you.
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Actually, it IS the best baseball movie ...
shepherd-1112 January 2001
The only other baseball movies that come close to Long Gone are The Natural and Field of Dreams. Long Gone has the massive benefit of good casting: i.e. William Peterson looks like and is an athlete, as well as THE MOST under-rated actor of his generation, right up there with Jeff Bridges and Mel Gibson. And it's funny, too.
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Living and breathing baseball sometimes requires something on the side.
Michael O'Keefe9 June 2001
This is a very good baseball/comedy. A past his prime player/manager(William L. Peterson)takes a low budget minor league team, the Tampico Stogies, from the cellar to the top of their league. Peterson still hopes of getting called to the 'bigs' while his team is being energized by the play of a rookie 'phenom'(Dermot Mulroney). Then there is the homer run hitting(Lary Riley)that has to pretend to be Puerto Rican instead of black. The owners want to secretly sell the team. And then there is the drop dead gorgeous groupie(Virginia Madsen)that is one hell of a distraction.

Supporting cast includes: Panchito Gomez, David Lanston Smyrl and Henry Gibson. If you liked BULL DURHAM or MAJOR LEAGUE, you can't help but like this movie. Step up to the plate and take a cut!
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One of the more realistic baseball movies
JTwain22 December 2002
This is the most underrated baseball movie. It not only has believable baseball scenes but the accuracy of the era is on the money. It shadows the Florida State League in the 1950's, following an imaginary team(Tampico Stogies). It shows that baseball creates a humility that brings people together, no matter what color or religious background.
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Peterson isn't Long Gone afterall
JJohns17 October 2002
This was a nice baseball comedy flick. Good for baseball buffs and people who enjoyed the 80's scene at that time. Its really good to see Peterson back on the screen regularly, cause after this movie and the Live and Die in L.A. movie, I didn't think his career would ever pick up again. Now he's in that new CSI show. My mother loves the show. He's really a good actor and carries the show well just like he did in Long Gone. Good to see you back Peterson.
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A Baseball movie that deserves more credit than it gets.
Malco3 July 2000
I am not a sports fan and I accidentally saw this movie back in the 80s. I was surprised how good it was, how great the cast was and here it is years later and I still remember it. The story had been done before and was done again after Long Gone in bigger productions, but in my opinion, Long Gone was the best of the field. It is believable, no magic golden dolphins come to the rescue in this movie. The cast is just wonderful and Teller and Henry Gibson are delicious as father and son rats. I can't find out if I had a stroke or if there was a bad guy character named J. Harold Smythe in this movie. If so I know another wonderful connection, but will not pass it on until I'm sure. I hate to make fact out of rumor. See it, you'll like it!
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One of the greatest movies you've never seen
Squire Boone9 June 2011
It's a shame that "Long Gone" is only available on VHS. I can't even find it in the library of HBO films ever made. But I saw it when HBO premiered it and I'm on my 4th VHS copy.

Petersen is Cecil "Stud" Cantrell, the womanizing manager/pitcher of the minor-league cellar-dwelling Tampico Stogies baseball team in the 1950's. Virginia Madsen is Dixie Lee Boxx, his latest sexual conquest and one bull-headed "female nut-roaster." Together, they create a palpable chemistry in this masterpiece of baseball shenanigans and raunchy slice of Americana that deserves repeated viewings.

Boasting a perfect cast of supporting players: Dermot Mulroney, Larry Riley, Henry Gibson, and the one-and-only Teller; and set to the intontations of the legendary Hank Williams, Sr; "Long Gone" is a funny, moving and insightful look at one of things that made America great and can do so again: baseball.

As Stud opines: "We're the luckiest people on God's green earth. We get to play a kid's game as adults. And get paid to do it."

And count yourself among those lucky few if you have seen this movie.
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Absolutely STILL the best baseball movie ever
First, it's an absolute CRIME that I can't get a copy of this movie on DVD. I have to agree with the vast majority of reviewers who grant this film worthy acclaim.

Yes, the characters are dirty and visceral.... They're REAL. They're human beings with faults and flaws, and love of life and baseball.

Stud is absolutely a real hero. Sure he likes premarital sex and booze and playing rough. I don't know how much the reviewer above who thought this movie lacked moral character knows about real baseball players... but guys like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were FAR from angels. They were sexist, hedonists. They played ROUGH. They played so rough that they wouldn't be able to work in the framework of modern sports. But this movie isn't ABOUT the modern game, or modern society. It's about a bygone era. And there are reasons we should be HAPPY that those days are past. But to white wash them for entertainment purposes is revisionist history and TERRIBLE story telling.

HBO - PLEASE do something so we can see this movie again. Play it! Release it on DVD! SOMETHING!
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my fav
chewmanchew30 May 2009
I love "Field of Dreams" (been there, btw), "The Natural", "Bull Durham", "Major League", "Major League II" (not "Major League III: Back to the Minors", though) and "The Rookie". "For The Love of the Game" & "Rookie of the Year" were, at least, entertaining. But, "Long Gone" is my favorite baseball movie of all time and is the reason I have been a St. Louis Cardinals fan since 1987! If you like baseball, you WILL like this movie. The storyline, and especially the characters, are absolutely outstanding, and you will not be disappointed. IMO, William L. Peterson's character, Cecil "Stud" Cantrell, is one of the greatest "flawed" characters in any movie...EVER! The powers that be definitely need to release this gem on DVD!
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Bull Durham ripped off this movie!
cranvillesquare3 August 2013
I loved this flick and still do. People look at me as if I'm crazy when I talk about it. "Oh, you mean 'Bull Durham,' don't you?" "No, I mean 'Long Gone.' Bull Durham ripped this movie off big-time, and is better-known, but Petersen was the washed-up player, not Costner. Susan Sarandon couldn't compare to Virginia Madsen."

Hank Williams didn't sing a song called "Bull Durham," the song was called "Long Gone."

'nuff said.

Now, as far as the movie itself goes - I grew up, up North, 20 years after this movie took place. I always heard stories about how awful 1950s Southern towns were, and how backward the South was in general. It never dawned on me until now that, despite the fact that Tampico is either in Illinois or Tamaulipas (Mexico) the producers made it seem as if it was down South. Nevertheless, the star hitter had to be passed off as Cuban so as not to be treated as if he was a black man.

Aside from the Hollywood malapropisms, a great flick nonetheless.
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Raunchy dialog driven long ball of a baseball movie .........
merklekranz13 December 2010
Surprisingly enjoyable, but beware much dialog is only for those who can tolerate at least a bunch of four letter words. The cast is uniformly great, with William Peterson as Stud Cantrell carrying the film. Virginia Madsen is a hoot as his "main squeeze. Henry Gibson and Teller are the Tampico Stogies team owners, and the rest of the team consists of upbeat, memorable characters. "Long Gone" features some terrific 1950s cars, and a 1950s soundtrack that is great. If you can live with "Cantrell's rules", his rather dim view of women, and the profanity, there is a lot to like here. If you are a baseball fan, seek this one out, you will not be disappointed. Recommended of it's type. ................- MERK
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one of the worst movies I have ever watched
railyard1 December 2005
After reading all the comments praising this movie, I went on a quest to find a copy of it. What a major disappointment! I gave it a 3 instead of a 0 only because Virginia Madsen is beautiful to look at, albeit she is a whore in the movie. The film is pure trash. Baseball is secondary to drinking, swearing, having sex, cheating, and being plain obnoxious. Petersen, whom I like as an actor, is too cocky in this and has very low moral standards. The guy that plays Joe Louis Brown is almost as bad, but not quite. The baseball action isn't bad, but less time is spent on the playing field than in the barroom or bedroom. How can this be called a baseball movie? And you just know how it's going to end, it's so predictable. Two guys come into the game in the last inning and win it for them. The movie would have been better if they had lost the game. And the wedding at the end was anti-climatic. I give each couple six months to a year before they get divorced. This is certainly not a movie to sit down and watch with your family. If real ballplayers are like these guys, then there are no heroes in baseball. A real poor example of sportsmanship and clean-cut living. How did this movie get to TV unless it was really late at night? August 10,2008. So many people have disagreed with me on this movie, that I decided to watch it again. I did, and it still stinks! Now that is my opinion. You may love the movie and that's fine with me. We all have different tastes. You can at least agree with that, right? To each his own.
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