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Eight Men Out (1988)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 13,285 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 38 critic

A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

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Title: Eight Men Out (1988)

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Cast

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Storyline

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 <pjustinl@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The inside story of how the national pastime became a national scandal. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les coulisses de l'exploit  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,680,515 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Berry, who plays a heckler and was the film's baseball coach, was an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. He was called "The Bandit" because of his ability to take hits away from batters. See more »

Goofs

While "The Star-Spangled Banner" was not officially made the official national anthem of the United States of America until 1931, it was sung during the first game of the 1918 World Series and had been popular for years, so it's reasonable for it to be sung before a 1919 game. See more »

Quotes

Hired Killer: You're gonna lose tomorrow.
Lefty Williams: Oh, is that so?
Hired Killer: I know it for a fact. That your wife?
Lefty Williams: Yeah, what's it to you?
Hired Killer: You don't lose tomorrow, she dies.
Lefty Williams: Who sent you?
Hired Killer: You made a promise to certain people.
Lefty Williams: You son of a bitch!
Hired Killer: You can't protect her. If I don't do it, somebody else will. First inning, Mister Williams.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.10 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

It could happen to you
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Words by Johnny Burke
1944
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Despite Sayles' Slants, It's A Good Baseball Story
1 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a well-done account of the famous 1919 Black Sox scandal in Major League baseball many years ago. The movie features an excellent cast and does a nice job of re-creating the era. The music of period is effectively used here, too, as are the interior and exterior of the ballpark.

The most memorable players seemed to be pitcher Eddie Cicotte (David Strathairn) and infielder Buck Weaver (John Cusack). Cicotte, being the ace pitcher on the staff, was the key player involved in fixing the 1919 World Series and Weaver stood out because he was made to look as a totally-innocent player who got unfairly blackballed from pro baseball. At least this is according to John Sayles, who directed the film. Sayles also shows "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, the most famous player of that scandal, to be just a naive, kind of dumb guy who didn't know what was going on. (However, history records Jackson making an unusual number of throwing errors in the field, which makes him suspect.)

Sayles also goes out of his way to make Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey as a notorious tightwad who invited this sort of thing (players taking bribes) by grossly underpaying his players. They also make a point of showing him screwing Cicotte out of a big bonus. The filmmakers almost make the crooks into the good guys! Gosh, Hollywood would never do that! So, as you can see, so don't take this story as "gospel." I'm sure some of it is very true, but how much?

The baseball scenes are realistic in the field but aren't all that credible pitching and hitting. Note: Sayles has an acting role in here as does real-life sportswriter Studs Terkel, who isn't a bad actor! Michael Lerner, Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Rooker, Clifton James all add to this deep cast.


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