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Eight Men Out (1988)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 13,542 users  
Reviews: 82 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:

1919. The year America saw major league baseball played a whole new way...underhanded. 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:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

Abe Atell: [When the players meet with him to accept the money before the first game] It's all out on bets.
Chick Gandil: [Shoves him] That's not good enough!
Abe Atell: Hey! Don't worry, you'll get the money soon enough.
Chick Gandil: When?
Swede Risberg: And how much?
Abe Atell: 100 grand, like I said. 20 after each game.
Hap Felsch: Wait a minute, that's 5 games. I thought we were just dumping a few.
Abe Atell: No, you lose the first 3.
Eddie Cicotte: Kerr's pitching the third, he's not with us.
Swede Risberg: So what? We don't hit for him, he'll fold. He's a busher!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Field of Dreams (1989) 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

 
Dear God, I love this movie!
16 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

John Sayles is always, always honest with his audiences, never resorting to cheap tricks or unwarranted sentiment; and this period drama about the "Black Sox" scandal of 1919 may be his finest hour. Incredibly handsome and lavish-looking for a low-budget indie, it's a meticulous re-creation of the first huge scandal in American professional sports, and the beginning of the loss of innocence in pro baseball (and American popular culture by extension). If that makes it sound a bit dry, let it be said that the characterizations are vivid, the characters multilayered, the costumes gorgeous, and the staging of the baseball games unusually convincing. (Ever notice how movie stars can't really fake pro-athlete moves? Watch John Cusack charge an outfield fly, or Charlie Sheen slide into third--they had me convinced.) In a uniformly excellent cast, David Strathairn's morally tortured star pitcher is especially impressive, as is John Mahoney's manager, alternately loving and despising his players, his eroding trust etched on his expressive face. And what a wonderful touch having Studs Terkel play a cynical sportswriter: He's the essence of Chicago style.

Some of the facts of the story are necessarily simplified or omitted to keep the movie under two hours, but there's not a moment of dishonesty or "Field of Dreams"-type goo. By the time the kid is looking Joe Jackson in the eye and pleading, "Say it ain't so," you'll probably be sniffling.

A high-water mark in the career of a great, versatile, underappreciated moviemaker.


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