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>
Director John Sayles was contractually obligated to a running time under two hours. To inspire the cast to talk fast, he showed them the film City for Conquest (1940). The final cut of the film is 1:59:48. See more »
Cominsky Park has a warning track. Warning tracks in ballparks first appeared after 1923, when the old Yankee Stadium was built with a running track for track and field events. See more »
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 »
Beautiful, Devastating. The Finest Baseball Film Ever Made.
When people talk about their favorite baseball movies, you always hear the same titles being tossed around. Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and of course, these are terrific movies. But I don't think any one movie has so perfectly caputured the game, the public's love and obsession with it, and how fragile and vulnerable the men whos play it can be. John Sayles movie, from Eliot Asinof's impeccably researched book, so perfectly caputres America in 1919, and paints the Black Sox scandal as a tragedy, whereby men capable of great things are brought down to the level of theives and gangsters by something as simple as greed, and as awful as revenge. What sets this movie apart, to me, is the cast. There is an athleticism about this cast. Charlie Sheen had a scholarship to play ball at Kansas State, and is well known for his passion for baseball. D.B. Sweeney, who is simply remarkable as Shoeless Joe Jackson, the illiterate hitting machine, whose tragedy also spawned the novel Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, which served as the source for Field of Dreams, played minor league ball before a motorcycle accident ended his career. They look and play like ballplayers. In far too many films there is something horribly fake about the baseball aspect. Some capture baseball scenes perfectly, and simply haven't the emotional, real life depth that a movie needs, while others capture plenty on the emotional side but fall short in terms of the realism on the field. This movie is a rare GEM that captures both so well. The acting is terrific. Sweeny, as said, does a fantastic job, as do John Mahoney as the team's manager, and the terrific character player Michael Rooker (who oddly is only good in movies where he isn't highly billed...for example, don't see Jean Claude Van Damme and Michael Rooker in Replicant...) as Chick Gandil, the first baseman whose shady connections initiate the whole gambling scenario. But the standout performance has to be John Cusack as third-baseman Buck Weaver. His being drawn into the scandal's backlash is by far the most devastating part of this film, as he is the moral center of the film, torn between his love of his teammates, and his loyalty to the integrity of a game he loves, and never got over the loss of. Simply Remarkable.
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