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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 10,990 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)

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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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

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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

The story Whitey Ford tells about Mickey Mantle tearing his knee because Joe DiMaggio made him back off a fly ball is true. According to Billy Crystal, Mickey had told him that story before and had even said "My knees were done right there and then." See more »

Goofs

Detroit Tiger Pitcher Frank Lary was right handed, not left handed as depicted in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Mickey Mantle: [Recalling a date with a girl to Roger, Whitey, Yogi, and the rest at a nightclub] So where was I?... Oh yeah, We're gettin' undressed and we start foolin' around and she suddenly stops and says 'I thought you was a homo?' And I say 'What? Wht the hell you talkin' about?' And she says 'Well, I heard you was a switch hitter'!
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Crazy Credits

Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more »

Connections

Features The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello, Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)
Written by Gene Pitney and Cayet Mangiaracina
Performed by Ricky Nelson
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under License From EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
Before Mark McGwire There Was Maris And Mantle
20 August 2001 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Produced obviously as a response to the assault by Mark McGwire (and Sammy Sosa) on baseball's single season home run record, this is a generally entertaining and well-acted story of the friendly battle waged between Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to beat Babe Ruth's home run record of 60, back in the year 1961.

Billy Crystal (who also produced) showed a surprisingly deft touch as a director, giving viewers a very realistic glimpse of life inside the pressure cooker of Yankee Stadium and major league baseball in general. Maris (Barry Pepper) comes across as an all around good guy who would really rather not be in the spotlight, who nevertheless has to deal with a hostile media and less than supportive home fans, neither of whom really want to see Ruth's record broken and who, if it is to be broken, would rather see Mantle ("the real Yankee") do it. Pepper was extremely good in this role. Thomas Jane put on an equally good performance as the wilder Mantle, who actually becomes Maris's roommate partway through the season, mainly to keep himself out of trouble.

This is an enjoyable enough baseball movie. Suspense is lacking, because we already know how the thing is going to turn out, but it's worth watching if only to see the dressing room tension building and the effect on the team as a whole. It's also an interesting look at how the media creates and destroys heroes. It's a little bit long (slightly over two hours) but very enjoyable.

7/10


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