Al Stump is a famous sports-writer chosen by Ty Cobb to co-write his official, authorized 'autobiography' before his death. Cobb, widely feared and despised, feels misunderstood and wants to set the record straight about 'the greatest ball-player ever,' in his words. However, when Stump spends time with Cobb, interviewing him and beginning to write, he realizes that the general public opinion is largely correct. In Stump's presence, Cobb is angry, violent, racist, misogynistic, and incorrigibly abusive to everyone around him. Torn between printing the truth by plumbing the depths of Cobb's dark soul and grim childhood, and succumbing to Cobb's pressure for a whitewash of his character and a simple baseball tale of his greatness, Stump writes two different books. One book is for Cobb, the other for the public. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Much of how Cobb was portrayed in this film has now been widely recognized as inaccurate. Al Stump's books and magazine articles on Cobb have now been widely discredited, and serious baseball historians give Stump's account of the later years of Cobb's life very little credence. Charles Leerhsen's biography, "Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty," sets the record straight. Cobb did NOT attempt to have sex with the cocktail waitress in Las Vegas and then attempt to pay her off (Stump fabricated this), and many other alleged darker aspects of Cobb's life are just plain not true. Several serious baseball historians have labeled this film highly inaccurate. See more »
When stump asks for a stock tip he is told to buy coke stock as it is about to come out in cans and he says coke in cans I don't believe so. This movie takes place in 1960 and coke first came out in cans in 1955. See more »
[to Stumpy, about Cobb, as Willie leaves for town]
And you sir, you should leave this disgusting, wretched, sorry son of a motherfucker - immediately. Good evening.
See more »
The latter half of the credits has a voiceover by Jones, narrating as Cobb, regarding the finer points of batting and other aspects of baseball, and how he regretted not going to college, and should have been a doctor. See more »
"It's been two years since I got my pecker up in the air."
First things first, this movie is based off of a book written by Al Stump, who is played by Robert Wuhl in the film. Al Stump in recent years has proved to be a liar and a forger so sports historians are calling into question a great deal of his supposed insight into Ty Cobb. In other words, in all likelihood Mr. Stump exaggerated or outright made up most of his allegations against Cobb to sell books. That isn't to say Ty Cobb was a prince of a human being because there's enough contemporary evidence to show that he wasn't. But some of the most vile things that have been said about him can be traced to Stump's writing. So take the things this movie has to say with a huge grain of salt.
Another black mark against the film is that it has very little actual baseball in it. This movie doesn't care about Cobb the baseball giant. It only cares about Cobb the asshole. To include one side of the man without the other is a pointless exercise in self-righteousness. Why is a biography of Ty Cobb even necessary without his baseball accomplishments? Because he was a racist and a bully? There are millions of those, past and present, who aren't getting movies made about them. It just defies reason. Cobb was one of the greatest (and dirtiest) baseball players ever. Going by this movie, however, you would think he was just some crotchety old man who shared wacky adventures with a sports reporter.
Tommy Lee Jones was too old to play this role, as is especially evident in the flashbacks to when Cobb was younger. He plays Cobb as a silly cantankerous cartoon of a man. Every bit as over the top as his performance of Two Face in Batman Forever. Let that sink in for a minute. Robert Wuhl plays himself as he always does. The movie is entertaining in spots. The comedic parts work better than the dramatic. I can't really recommend it because the bad outweighs the good and, personally, knowing about Stump leaves a bad taste in my mouth over the whole thing.
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