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61* (2001)

TV Movie  |  TV-MA  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  28 April 2001 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,141 users  
Reviews: 124 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 & 25 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>

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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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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

Joe Grifasi, who played Yankee Broadcaster Phil Rizzuto, later played another iconic Yankee Yogi Berra in the 2007 ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning. Christopher McDonald, who played Mel Allen, also appeared as Joe DiMaggio in the same series. See more »

Goofs

During Roger Maris and his wife's phone conversation, Roger picks up some Camel cigarettes in a pack that wasn't designed until the late-90's. See more »

Quotes

Artie Green: [after Artie publishes a story incriminating Roger, and Roger hits a home run with the Yankee Stadium crowd booing him] Can you believe this? They're booing him in his own ballpark
Milt Kahn: [Sarcastically] Yeah, and I wonder why, Artie?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Punisher (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I Count The Tears
Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman
Performed by The Drifters
Produced under license from Atlantic Recording Corp.
Produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Tribute to American legend Roger Maris
1 March 2005 | by (Glasgow) – See all my reviews

As a Scotsman raised on football and rugby American sports have often left me cold and were a subject of derision in my household as a child. This film ,brilliantly directed by Billy Crystal, changed all that for me. I bought this film through a region 1 DVD supplier as it is unavailable in the UK and was moved to tears by its moving and heartfelt depiction of the late great Roger Maris who in one season became the most misunderstood and hated figure in baseball history. His crime- he dared to challenge a thirty four year old record set by Babe Ruth for the most home runs scored in a single season and even worse he was in competition with teammate Mickey Mantle for the record. Mantle at the time was the darling of NY Yankee fans and was probably the greatest player of his day, Maris was a small town boy who played the game only as a means to an end, to provide for his family, and cared little for public opinion or the press. The venom to which he is subjected to by the press and fans, brought on by immoral reporters, will make any sports fan angry. This film was a work of joy for director Billy Crystal and his love for the project shows in every shot and especially in the directors commentary. Barry Pepper is an uncanny Roger Maris and his amazing performance pulls us into the suffering the player must have felt. Thomas Jane is a brilliant Mickey Mantle playing the role of American legend with biblical sincerity. The whole project feels classy at all times, despite being made for T.V, and is a monument to both players and the era in which they lived. The film is rounded of by an appearance during the credits by Mickey Mantle's son and grandson, pure class and a tribute to the boyhood idol of Billy Crystal All in all well done to Billy Crystal and cast. Thank you for a wonderful 2hrs and 9mins. I am only sad it wasn't longer. But it has introduced me to the sport of baseball and has compelled me to learn more of both Maris and Mantle. So it has placed me on a journey of discovery. What higher compliment can I pay?


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