On Disc

at Amazon

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,726 ( 119)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Eight Men Out (1988)
Drama | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner
The Babe (1992)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Babe Ruth becomes a baseball legend but is unheroic to those who know him.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: John Goodman, Kelly McGillis, Trini Alvarado
The Natural (1984)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close
Bull Durham (1988)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A washed up pitcher flashes through his career.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly
Major League (1989)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. But when the plot is uncovered, they start winning just to spite her.

Director: David S. Ward
Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen
Cobb (1994)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reporter hired to write the 'official' biography of Ty Cobb discovers just how dark the baseball legend's real story is.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl, Lolita Davidovich
Mr. Baseball (1992)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jack Elliot, once a great baseball player, is forced to play in Japan where his brash, egotistical ways cause friction with his new teammates and friends.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Tom Selleck, Ken Takakura, Aya Takanashi
Hoosiers (1986)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Rudy (1993)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The Indians are now a World Series contender. But last year's hunger is now replaced with complacency, and bad decisions by the new owner threaten to tear the team apart.

Director: David S. Ward
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen
Miracle (2004)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Miracle tells the true story of Herb Brooks (Russell), the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad.

Director: Gavin O'Connor
Stars: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ford Frick
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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?


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

61  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

An archive clip of the real Roger Maris hitting his 61st home run is shown during the opening credits of Bobby (2006). See more »

Goofs

Many players refer to Mickey Mantle as being 18 years old when he was a rookie. He was actually 19 years old in his rookie season, 1951. See more »

Quotes

[about Roger Maris]
Artie Green: MVP - Most Vacant Personality.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Punisher (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Dedicated To The One I Love
Written by Ralph Bass and Lowman Pauling
Performed by The Shirelles (as The Shirells)
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company/Global Licensing Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Grand Slammer for Crystal & Cast
27 April 2002 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

Billy Crystal lovingly looks back at the New York Yankees of his childhood in `61.' The movie follows teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle through the 1961 baseball season, in which Maris did the unimaginable - and unforgivable, in the eyes of many fans. He broke Babe Ruth's sacred 1927 record of 60 home runs in a season. Mantle chasing the Babe was one thing; Maris doing it was quite another. The self-proclaimed redneck from North Dakota, ill at ease around the big city media and hoopla, was not the golden boy that Mantle was. The Mick had owned New York for years - especially since his phenomenal triple crown year in 1956. Maris had come over from the lowly Kansas City A's a year earlier and had enjoyed what many assumed was his `career year' in 1960, winning the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

The movie focuses on more than just the home run chase. It gives a nice portrayal of Mantle and Maris as men and gives a fairly nice look at Major League life in the slightly less jaded early 1960s. The baseball scenes are quite realistic. Adding to the enjoyment for real baseball fans is the careful attention to detail. Even the opposing pitchers, trying to keep Maris from tying and breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, look real. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm looks just LIKE Hoyt Wilhelm. Jim Bunning throws just LIKE Jim Bunning. Jake Wood (seen only in a long shot, as a baserunner) looks like Jake Wood! I could go on, but won't. Attention to detail is a major plus for this production. (Note: In the midst of writing this, I just scrolled down the credits and saw that Wilhelm was portrayed by former Major League knuckleballer, Tom Candiotti! Sheesh! No WONDER his knuckleball looked real! It WAS real! lol)

Maris is played by Barry Pepper, whose physical resemblance to Maris borders on the scary! From his crewcut to his facial expressions, to his physique, Pepper looks exactly like Roger Maris in 1961! He seems to master the swing and other baseball skills, making me guess that he had played college baseball. He also turns in a convincing performance as the introverted Maris becomes the center of attention, controversy and criticism - not just in The Big Apple, but across the nation.

The performance of Thomas Jane as Mantle is also outstanding. He and Pepper accurately portray the stress of a long and grueling baseball season, made more so by separations from loved ones, the pressure of a pennant race and the ever-increasing pressure and scrutiny of the chase on Babe Ruth's hallowed record of 60 home runs. Jane captures the charisma and genuine likeability of Mantle, as well as his less attractive side as a non-attentive parent and unfaithful husband. Chris Bauer, meanwhile, is delightful as outfielder Bob Cerv (pronounced `serve'), a teammate of Maris in KC and his (and later Mantle's) roommie with the Yankees. Crystal's daughter, Jennifer Crystal Foley, is also strong as Pat Maris, struggling hard to support her stressed-out husband and manage their growing family, from halfway across the country. The rest of the cast is first-rate, as well.

The tie-in with the present day (or 1998, at least) shattering of Maris' record by Mark McGwire is effective and gives a more heartwarming feel to the film. McGwire was all class in 1998, going out of his way to accommodate the Maris family and to honor Maris himself (who had died several years earlier); of course he was buoyed by a nation that seemed to urge him on, rather than spit venom at him, like the one Maris faced. The final effect seems to be closure for the spirit of Roger Maris. Perhaps it DID take his record being broken for baseball to forgive the outsider from Dakota for having the audacity to break Ruth's record. Perhaps it DID take the goateed McGwire hitting 70 home runs for baseball fans to realize the significance and difficulty of Maris belting 61 in '61 - still the American League record, by the way. Crystal brings home his film in fine style. He also keeps it fairly clean. One off-color clubhouse exchange between Mantle and Whitey Ford seems to be tossed in primarily to give a sense of it BEING a Big League locker room. Thereafter, the film is largely suitable for the entire family. Overall, I would call `61' one of the better baseball movies ever made.


24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who’s your favorite player( living or daid)? and what your teem saturn924
1961 Yankees - Most Overrated Team in MLB Histroy raiderfan14943
The ending and McGwire pka54
61* - From a UK viewpoint bozz282
Can A-Rod pass Maris? NobodyParties
Why does batting order matter? mrj004
Discuss 61* (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?