A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004)

R  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  March 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 296 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 10 user | 24 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Filmmaker Christopher Browne documents the mission of a group of middle-aged bowlers as they attempt to revitalize the sport and get the television-watching public interested in it again.


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Credited cast:
Himself - Actor / Producer
Bernard Goldberg ...
Himself (as Bernie Goldberg)
Robert Putnam ...
Himself - Harvard Professor / Author
Wayne Webb ...
Himself - Professional Bowler
Dick Weber ...
Himself - Professional Bowler
Himself - Professional Bowler
Himself - Professional Bowler


Tracing the historical arc of the professional bowling tour, the film includes archival footage from the sport's glory days in the 1950s and '60s, through its near extinction in 1997. The story takes a twist when newly installed CEO Steve Miller sets about modernizing the PBA. In addition to Miller, the chronicle focuses on four pro bowlers: Pete Weber, bowling bad-boy and son of legendary bowler Dick Weber whose conservative style doesn't jibe with the direction Miller is taking the new PBA. Pete's nemesis is Walter Ray Williams Jr., a straight-laced six-time world horseshoe-pitching champion and, with 36 PBA titles to his name, the dominant player on the tour. Also, there's Chris Barnes, a young father of newborn twins, who must leave his wife and sons at home and hit the road to compete for the winnings that his young family is depending upon. Finally there's Wayne Webb, a 20-time PBA champion who has fallen on hard times and hopes to squeeze one more good season out of his career ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bowling | See All (1) »


Inside The Wild Wild World Of Professional Bowling!


Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

March 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,498 (USA) (27 May 2005)


$18,326 (USA) (29 July 2005)

Company Credits

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References The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Documentary
20 January 2005 | by (Newport Beach, California) – See all my reviews

I saw this at the CineVegas Festival. It's about the Microsoft executives who purchased the struggling Pro Bowlers Tour and tried to turn it into a profitable sports league. Several of the players are profiled, including the 2 biggest stars (Walter Ray Williams & Pete Weber), an up and coming star (Chris Barnes) and a "has-been" (Wayne Webb) who is trying to reclaim his 70s and 80s stardom. This film shows the psychological pain that many of these players have to endure as a result of brutal travel schedules, long hours away from their families, low pay and the lack of respect they often receive in their chosen profession. It's an entertaining and heart-breaking film that will appeal to anyone who likes underdog stories about real people, it's not just for bowling fans.

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