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61* (2001)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | History  -  28 April 2001 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,961 users  
Reviews: 123 user | 22 critic

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

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Title: 61* (TV Movie 2001)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Drama

A young baseball player in the 1940s struggles to make it in the major leagues.

Director: Billy Crystal
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Cast

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Storyline

Summer, 1961: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle are on pace to break the most hallowed record in U.S. sports, Babe Ruth's single-season 60 home runs. It's a big story, and the intense, plain-spoken Maris is the bad guy: sports writers bait him and minimize his talent, fans cheer Mantle, the league's golden boy, and baseball's commissioner announces that Ruth's record stands unless it's broken within 154 games. Any record set after 154 games of the new 162-game schedule will have an asterisk. The film follows the boys of summer, on and off the field: their friendship, the stresses on Maris, his frustration with the negative attention, and his desire to play well, win, and go home. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Why did America have room in its heart for only one hero?


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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

61  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the details of the games recreated for the film were based on Billy Crystal's first hand memories of having seen or watched the actual games. As a result, the film's crew members nicknamed him "Rain Man" for his uncanny ability to remember the games to the smallest detail. See more »

Goofs

When Roger Maris is talking to Mrs. Maris on the phone, we see a modular phone jack (not in use until the '70s). See more »

Quotes

Roger: Listen Mick, Cerv and I got this place. It's real nice and quiet. It's in a nice place, neighborhood. Heck, sometimes we cook for ourselves and other times we're sending out.
Mickey: What the hell are you talking about?
Roger: Yeah, well I was just thinking, maybe you'd like to come and live with us.
Mickey: Let me get this straight. I got a big fucking suite at the St. Maritz Hotel, and you want me to move to Queens?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more »

Connections

Featured in Tell Them Who You Are (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk Don't Run
Written by John Smith
Performed by The Ventures
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license From EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

A Beautiful Friendship
13 December 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

First off, I'm a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and thus not much of a Yankees fan. However, this may be one of the best baseball movies, if not one of the best sports films, ever made; even though baseball fans know how the story ends, your emotions will be stirred and you will find yourself rooting for these two players whether or not you have a preference for pinstripes.

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane steal the show as Maris and Mantle, two Yankee teammates that form an alliance to help carry them through the turmolterous race to break the single-season home run record of Babe Ruth in 1961. While everyone from the press box to the peanut vendor appears to favor seeing the lovable Mick, even the commissioner of baseball seems to have an agenda against the misunderstood Maris. Trying to eclipse a mark of a legend against such adversity proves to be no easy task for either player, and the film does a great job of demonstrating the pressure that each player experienced from his own angle.

Director and noted Yankees fan Billy Crystal obviously put his heart and soul into directing and producing this masterpiece and deserves credit for putting an honest face on the race to the home run record between these two legends. Most impressive was how much care was taken to make the actors appear to step comfortably into the roles of each player; Jane and Pepper appear and act so much like "the M&M boys" that it's spooky. Being a passionate fan of the game probably puts a bias on this review but, even if you don't know the difference between a squeeze play and a double play, it's a great story about friendship and facing odds.


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