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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 10,699 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)

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

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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

In the scene before the Baltimore game where Roger Maris ties the record, the reporter is complaining about Roger not showing up for an interview and then begins to rip Roger for his attitude. According to Billy Crystal in the DVD Commentary, in real life the reason Roger stood up the reporter was because he was visiting a sick kid in the hospital. Crystal says he left that part out for two reasons: 1. Because the plot device of a ballplayer visiting a sick child was used too much in baseball movies (i.e.: The Pride of the Yankees (1942), among others) 2. It interrupted the overall tone of this section of the film which Crystal wanted to show the world against Roger Maris. See more »

Goofs

During Game 1 of the season, announcer Mel Allen says that the Yankees are down 4 runs when Mickey Mantle's batting. After he strikes out, the scoreboard on the 2nd deck clearly shows no score. See more »

Quotes

Roger: You would have done it too.
Mickey: Ah, bullshit. It was you Rodge. You did it, you son of a bitch. Nobody can ever take that away from you. No matter what bullshit they try to tell you. That record's yours.
[Roger and Mickey shake hands]
Mickey: You're a good man, Roger.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Yankee Stadium played by Tiger Stadium See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Punisher (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from "The Andy Griffith Show"
Written by Earle Hagen (as Earl Hagen) and Herbert W. Spencer (as Herbert Spencer)
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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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