Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
The great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 is the saddest team to ever win a pennant. The team is bitter at their penny pincher owner, Charles Comiskey, and at their own teammates. Gamblers take advantage of this opportunity to offer some players money to throw the series. (Most of the players didn't get as much as promised.) But Buck Weaver and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson turn back at the last minute and try to play their best. The Sox actually almost come back from a 3-1 deficit. Two years later, the truth breaks out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. They are found innocent by the jury but baseball commissioner Landis has other plans. The eight players are suspended for life, and Buck Weaver, for the rest of his life, tries to clear his name. Written by
Patrick Lynn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The byline of a newspaper column glimpsed about an hour and ten minutes into the film ("Do or Die!; Kerr Hurls Against Reds") reads "By John Tintori". Tintori is the film's editor. See more »
Early in the film, there is a close-up of Eddie Cicotte's right hand (Strathairn) as he is preparing the ball to throw his famous "shine ball". On the ball, the logo " Rawlings", as in the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, can clearly be seen. But in 1919, Major League Baseball exclusively used baseballs manufactured by Spalding. Major League Baseball would not switch to baseballs made by Rawlings until 1977, 58 years later. See more »
[referring to the owners]
If Landis wants to clean up the game; he should start with those birds on the steps with him.
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Everything's right in this period piece on baseball's darkest moment. Film eschews standard Hollywood overkill and presents things as they actually happened [you won't see Shoeless Joe talking like a Harvard grad in this one]; also avoids taking sides between greedy players and greedy owner, and lets you decide who screwed who. Fantastic atmosphere. Cusack as Buck Weaver, on the fringes of the scandal, and David Strathairn, as ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte, lead a cast which is solid through the whole lineup.
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