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A League of Their Own
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A League of Their Own More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nice fictional film on women's pro baseball league

Author: SimonJack from United States
23 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"A League of Their Own" is an enjoyable film about the short stint that women's professional baseball had in the U.S. From 1943 to 1954, there was a professional league that was the brainchild of Chicago chewing gum magnate Philip Wrigley. He and other baseball owners started the league supposedly to keep baseball "alive" in the minds of the public during World War II. The thinking was that the sport might die out because so many men who played professional baseball went off to war.

The women's league went through a few name changes. In 1943, the All- American Girls Softball League was changed to the All-American Girls Baseball League. The league ranged from four to 10 teams each year and had a total of 15 teams over its 12-year history. It started with four teams, two of which are portrayed playing the first girls baseball world series in 1943 – the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches. The movie is a highly fictionalized story of the founding and first year of the league. But it includes a reunion of many of the girls at the National Baseball Hall of Fame when its Women in Baseball exhibit opened on Nov. 5, 1988. Penny Marshal who produced and directed the movie, attended that opening and shot scenes there.

The lead character, Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) was said to be a composite of two of the real girl players – Dottie Kamenshek and Pepper Paire Davis. In the movie, Dottie is married and plays just one year until her wounded husband returns from the war. The real Kamenshek, however, began playing when she was 17 and never married. She was considered the best player of the league and led her team, the Rockford Peaches, to four of the 12 series titles. She led the league in many stats.

All the rest of the characters in the film were fictional as well, as was the Peaches' manager, Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks. I suppose Hollywood thought a straight story based mostly on facts and real characters wouldn't be as glamorous or interesting. There's no doubt that Hanks' Jimmy Dugan added some color to the film. But the film does give an accurate portrayal of the training the girls were required to take – off the field. They studied etiquette and manners. And it is a good account of the uniforms and other aspects of the girls professional baseball.

The girls teams played mostly at larger towns outside of the major league cities. That also makes the supposed purpose of the league – to keep baseball alive in the minds of the public – suspect. After all, the big leagues (National and American) continued to play ball all during the war. They did suspend play for a couple days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But the game went on and each year the World Series games were played at the end of the regular season. For the record, the St Louis Cardinals won the 1942 World Series over the NY Yankees. The Yankees turned the trick the next year against the Cards. Then, the Cards won the 1944 Series over cross-town rivals, the St. Louis Browns. Finally, in 1945 the Detroit Tigers took the Series over the Chicago Cubs.

I mention this because a scene sticks in my mind from the 1943 movie, "Guadalcanal Diary." William Bendix is a corporal who's listening to a game on the radio and rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers. There's some talk among the men about the possibility of the Dodgers winning the pennant to play the Yankees in the World Series. That probably was the year of the movie – 1943. The Dodgers finished third that year in the National League, behind Cincinnati and far behind the Cards.

Still, one wonders if there might not have been one or more other reasons behind the women's pro baseball league. For starters, how about another venue of wholesome and interesting entertainment for folks back home during the war? Especially since the folks outside the cities didn't often get to see big league games. Remember – this is before television. Then there's always the profit motive. One scene in the film addresses this. The Walter Harvey character (of chewing gum fame – guess who) played by Garry Marshall tells Ira Lowenstein, the league manager, played by David Strathairn, that the league will have to shut down after the first year because it's losing money. Of course, Ira does some things to turn that around, with the help of some of the players.

The movie completely dodges one aspect of the girls pro baseball league. That has to do with sizes and distances. The ball they used to start with was the same size as a softball – 12 inches in circumference (compared to the 9-inch baseball). And they pitched it underhanded. The infield was considerably smaller than that of pro baseball. The distance between bases was 65 feet, compared to 90 in baseball. The pitcher's mound was 40 feet from home plate, compared to 60 feet, six inches. As the years went on after the war, the field distances widened and got closer to those of baseball, and by 1948, the ball size was 10 3/8 inches and overhand pitching was allowed.

This is an enjoyable film to watch and a nice tribute to women's baseball and sports in general. For more history and an accurate account of the girls pro baseball league, one might visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, NY.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Women playing professional baseball leagues, a big turning point for our country.

Author: Cameo Foster ( from United States
23 March 2013

A League of their own is a great movie. I have watched it several times over the years. This is one of them films that I could never get tired of watching. When I first seen this film for the first time I thought it was neat that women were playing baseball professionally. What appeared to me most was women were doing something something different then what they was expected to do. This movie just proves that women can be just as good at sports as men are.

During World War two a lot of jobs became available to women, including baseball. Candy manufacturing magnate Walter Harvey comes up with a plan to start a professional women's baseball league, so he sends scout Ernie Capadino to recruit players. Capadino comes across Dottie Hinson in Oregon. He is very impressed and offers her a shot at tryouts but she is not interested. However her younger sister Kit Keller loves baseball and is really interested, but the scout is not interested in Kit. Eventually Capadino tells Kit she can come along if Dottie comes and try's out. So the two set off to Chicago for tryouts. Both of the them make the same team, The Peaches, which is coached by a drunkard former baseball player Jimmy Dugan. He thinks this whole thing is a joke and does nothing but stay drunk in the pit. Dottie guides and directs the team. Jimmy gets to see how good the team really is and then steps up to the plate of being coach. With Dottie doing something spectacular the team ends up in being successful.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

During time of war females successfully fill the American need for baseball.

Author: firecat38s from United States
26 August 2005

After reading the previous 'critique' of this film, I will state that I didn't view the film on individual performances. I do believe that the cast was able to work together, much like a well oiled baseball/softball team should. The performances were stellar all around..why?? Because for 2 hours you were able to loose yourself in the concept of the movie. For those of us that ARE ex-baseball/softball players this film was able to give us a nostalgic back flash. Oh, and by the way........for persons who love the game, and I am speaking for all of the players who have a love of the game......switching from a softball to a baseball poses NO problems.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Best Movie EVER

Author: Andrea Sheedy from United States
25 August 2005

A League of Their Own is the greatest movie of ALL TIME. The cast is brilliant, solid acting, excellent cinematography...the whole package. This movie is long, but it draws you in to each character and follows three perfectly woven story lines that keep your attention throughout. The writing is hilarious, moving, intense, informative, touching, and inspiring. A League of Their Own is the most quotable movie ever made with such popular gems as "there's no crying in baseball" and "the hard is what makes it great". The characters will steal your heart and give you the sense that you're living their victories and defeats along with them. It is appropriate enough for the entire family and entertaining enough for any group. I would not classify it as a sports movie or a chick flick...just a really good film. You have no?[

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The bit where Jimmy kisses the old woman

Author: HayB1982 from Cyprus
18 August 2005

I think the funniest part of this film is when Stewell puts his hands over the bus drivers eyes and the driver subsequently quits and Miss Copbun {not sure of name} runs after him out the door. The funny thing being when she comes back to tell Jimmy {Tom Hanks.} He mistakenly kisses her thinking she was one of the younger girls when he wakes up, just the way he screams gets me every time. Then he goes and shouts to the girls outside to get back on the bus and none of them understand what he says. Also when he delivers the line 'by the way I loved you in the Wizard Of Oz' its just classic Tom Hanks.Does anyone else agree.

Another favourite bit of mine is when Marla is doing her tryout for Mr Capodino his face when she comes over to meet him.

This film has got to be one of the best sports films ever made. It has everything in it comedy, drama, tears and a fab ending.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great baseball flick

Author: hillary1 from South Portland, ME
13 February 2005

I loved this movie. There were some great lines ("There's NO CRYING in baseball!") and the cast was fabulous, even the minor characters (Garry Marshall is one of my all-time favorite character actors). Tom Hanks was brilliant, and one gets the feeling that if Madonna had stuck to comedy she'd be a huge box office draw by now. The only thing I didn't really care about was the "rivalry" going on between Dottie Hinson and her sister-Kip was one of the weakest characters in the film and too much attention was paid to her for her to be so underdeveloped.

If you haven't seen it, rent it sometime during the baseball season. It's almost as good as "The Natural" and better than "Field of Dreams."

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Perfect Cast

Author: joeestlinbm from United States
12 February 2005

I realize it's a little late to be commeting on a movie thats thirteen years old, but I didn't see it till recently, so whether it's proper, or not, I feel like I need to comment on it because it's such a wonderful movie.

Every lady who played in the movie, played their parts with perfection.

Maddona, Lori Pettie, Rosie O'Donnell, and Geena Davis, of course stole the show, but without the support of the multi talented rest of the cast, as well as the stunt people, they couldn't have pulled it off.

And let us not forget Tom Hanks, character, as the teams manager, who started out as being a misanthropic idiot, but as the movie progressed,he gradually became a relatively tolerable human being. Only Hanks could have pulled this character off with such an air of perfection.

I think one reason for this film being such a wonderful, interesting, entertaining, and watchable movie, is the fact that Penny Marshall directed it. She couldn't have (in my opinion) done a better job.

I've watched this movie, probably ten times, and expect I probably will watch it at least that many more. The movie it is in every respect one of the best I've seen. Ladies playing baseball, especially pretty ladies is a pleasurs to watch.

Thanks for letting me express my opinion.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Superb movie and tribute to the Women's Professional Baseball League.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
25 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Until this movie came out, most of the general American public, even the baseball fans, knew little to nothing about the old Women's League. This movie, starring a purposely overweight Tom Hanks as the boozing, washed up baseball man Jimmy Dugan, asked to coach the women, is a delight and pays appropriate tribute to those female players of old.

The nominal female star is Geena Davis as Dottie, a young married woman with a husband in the Army. Dottie is a natural athlete and becomes the star of her team. She wasn't even planning to try out, but the scouts saw her while visiting to see her little sister, Kit, played by Lori Petty. Kit was marginal, and Dottie's going along was a way to get Kit a chance. Kit remained marginal, and that was a source of drama between the sisters.

Madonna does a credible job as Mae (center field) and Rosie O'Donnell as Doris (3rd base). Jon Lovitz is quite good, and quite a hoot, as the baseball scout, Ernie Capadino. The ladies in this movie play fairly believable baseball, and the whole story is a very touching one. The movie has much good humor in it too, like the scenes where a drunken Jimmy Dugan is trying to give one set of signals, while Dottie is trying to keep the team on a even keel, giving a different set of signals.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A timeless classic...(Contains Spoilers)

Author: kimisan ( from Amarillo, TX
3 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's the early 1940s and a World War is at hand. With most American males, including famous baseball players, going off to war, a plan is made to keep the baseball industry going by drafting women to fill their beloved men's shoes.

Enter Dotti Henson and Kit Kellar, two sisters who battle each other both at their home on the farm and on the ball field. Kit, a decent pitcher at best, feels as though she's constantly in the shadow of her older, married, more athletic and all-around better sister, Dotti.

During the girls' struggle to see who can truly be "The Best," we meet many colorful characters, including Jimmy Duggan (a brilliant Tom Hanks), coach of the Rockford Peaches, the team Kit and Dotti play for. From there, the balls fly and the base runs just keep on comin'.


In my opinion, this is Penny Marshall's best film. Never have a group of women been portrayed in such a graceful AND strong light as "A League of Their Own." Geena Davis, Hanks, and Lori Petty shine in their leading roles, while Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, and David Strathairn are brilliant as the supporting cast.

This timeless piece of cinematography will pull at your heartstrings in ways you've not felt in a long time. We all rolled on the floor laughing when Jimmy Duggan finally outwitted the bratty Steelwell Angel by hitting him in the face with a baseball mitt. No one could stop the tears from flowing when they heard Betty "Spaghetti" scream out the name of her husband George who, along with countless other young soldiers, was never coming back. And who will ever forget the delightful chills they felt in their spine when Kit Keller was hoisted up on her teammates' shoulders to the crowd excitedly chanting her name, finally saving the day and proving that sometimes, simply "wanting it more" really can make all the difference, even removing the brutal power struggle between two sisters who realize that they love each other more than all the home runs in the world.

I recommend this film for anyone that wants to see a movie that will make you laugh and cry without taking either to the extreme. "A League of Their Own" is a classic film and will definitely be around for years to come.

God bless you all.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Madonna's great in this film.

Author: Rachel from Australia
6 February 2004

I don't know why people keep bagging out Madonna's performance in her movies. Well, she's great in this one. One - she's very funny in this film, it really suited her. And two - her line, when the girls see their baseball uniforms for the first time, is the best line in the whole movie. It's "They don't have any pockets for my cigarettes."

It's a good movie, rent it out on VHS or DVD, either one's fine.

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