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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 10,690 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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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

Taglines:

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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Details

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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

Right-handed Anthony Michael Hall portrays left-handed pitcher Whitey Ford. All scenes with Hall pitching were shot with the actor wearing reverse insignia and numbers, then the film was flipped so as to appear as if he pitched left-handed. This is the same technique that was used with Gary Cooper when he played Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees (1942). See more »

Goofs

Bob Cerv was not a member of the Yankees in the beginning of the 1961 season, he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels. See more »

Quotes

[after Maris hits #59, he sits down next to Mickey]
Mickey Mantle: What happened? I was on the john.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first set of credits lists Chris McDonald; the second. Christopher McDonald. See more »

Connections

References The Pride of the Yankees (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like It Like That
Written by Allen Toussaint (as Allen Troussaint) & Chris Kenner
Performed by Chris Kenner
Courtesy of Charly Licensing APS
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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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