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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Cast

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Fred McMullin
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Ray Schalk
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Scandal That Rocked A Nation See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Acht Mann und ein Skandal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,680,515 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studs Terkel was 75 when he played Chicago sports writer Hal Fullerton, who was 46 at the time. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Hughie Fullerton and Ring Lardner work together and separately during the games (while they are reporting) to mark down any fishy plays or players. In real life, Christy Mathewson worked with Hughie Fullerton. See more »

Quotes

Sport Sullivan: You know what you feed a dray horse in the morning if you want a day's work out of him?
Jimmy: What?
Sport Sullivan: Just enough so he knows he's hungry.
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the movie, they are done against a blue cloudy sky up, then to the right and down to the bottom. Despite the ensemble cast, the most well-known leading and character actors at the time were credited first in alphabetical order, then lesser known actors that had roles that were just as large or larger were credited in pairs of two. Example: John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, and Charlie Sheen were credited first, due to their successes with The Sure Thing, Back to the Future, and Platoon, respectively, but in pairs, Michael Rooker, Kevin Tighe, and Richard Edson also had pivotal roles, but were lesser known. Charlie Sheen was already well-established, but had no more than a few minutes of screen time the entire movie, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Edson were always together playing gamblers, but Lloyd was a much more well-known actor and credited first. See more »


Soundtracks

It could happen to you
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Words by Johnny Burke
1944
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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