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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 11,118 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)

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

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 24 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>

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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

Roger Maris hit #58 off of Terry Fox, not Jim Bunning. See more »

Quotes

Whitey Ford: Hey, Slick, how come every time you get drunk it costs me money?
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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 »


Soundtracks

Nobody Knows Me
Written and Performed by Lyle Lovett
Courtesy of Curb Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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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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