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 <email@example.com>
Lefty Williams, one of the eight men out, missed the bulk of the 1918 season serving in the military. See more »
Cincinnati is the first team shown batting in Game 1, despite the fact that they are the home team. However, in the preceding scene, when Rothstein first arrives to listen to the play-by-play, the announcer can be heard reading off the results of Chicago's turn at bat in the top of the first inning. See more »
I always figured it was talent made a man big, you know, if I was the best at something. I mean, we're the guys they come to see. Without us, there ain't a ballgame. Yeah, but look at who's holding the money and look at who's facing a jail cell. Talent don't mean nothing. And where's Comiskey and Sullivan, Attell, Rothstein? Out in the back room cutting up profits, that's where. That's the damn conspiracy.
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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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