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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 10,665 users  
Reviews: 122 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)

61* (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 7.9/10

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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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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

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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

As a close friend of Mickey Mantle and his family, Billy Crystal was given permission by Mantle's family to honestly portray Mickey's drinking and carousing. Many of the moments in the movie of Mickey getting drunk really happened. This includes Mickey getting drunk and calling home at 2am from his hotel room as in the scene following the death threats to Roger Maris and his family. See more »

Goofs

Many players refer to Mickey Mantle as being 18 years old when he was a rookie. He was actually 19 years old in his rookie season, 1951. See more »

Quotes

Mickey Mantle: [whispers to Maris] That blonde back there has got the biggest tits I've ever seen in my life.
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Crazy Credits

After the first set of credits, a father tells his son "That's Mickey Mantle and that's a homerun". The film is then dedicated to director Billy Crystal's father who introduced him to baseball as a child. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.114 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love Mickey
Words & Music by Ruth Roberts, Bill Katz & Teresa Brewer
Performed by Teresa Brewer
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Perhaps best baseball movie ever
19 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

So superb was the job Billy Crystal did on this movie that it is the best baseball (even sports) film I have ever seen. Every detail is meticulously worked out, even more accurately, I believe, than in The Titanic (which, contrary to popular belief, had a few inaccuracies). And while a strong effort in getting look alikes can never completely pay off with so many people involved, how about Barry Pepper as Maris? (Of course, the most important person.)

Mickey Mantle's faults are brought out unrestrainedly by perhaps his No. 1 fan, and yet he still comes across in a positive light, as he should. Maris's problems with the press are also portrayed sympathetically, and yet so are members of the press, who are personalized and humanized and have their side also fairly presented. Particularly moving was the scene at the end where a press person who had been at odds with Maris is cheering him on to break the record. An ornamental portrayal of Pat Maris would of course not be tolerated, but Crystal makes an extra, very successful effort at making her an important part of the film with great character development and a thoughtful inclusion of her problems. In fact, I find it hard to think of another movie in which there is such an absence of plastic people. And in spite of the post-Ball Four attitudes about how athletes really are, this movie appears to be accurate in presenting Maris as a good Catholic (and relatively nonboozing) family man.

Yankee haters may not be into this film as much as Yankee lovers, but in any event it brilliantly captures the Yankee mystique (and dominance in this particular season) in the early 60s. Were they the apotheosis of the pre-Vietnam, All-American ideal? If you are one of those people whose main complaint about movies these days is more than specific factors, but the general lack of anything uplifting, see this movie. More in the modern vein than, say, Pride of the Yankees, but no less uplifting.


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