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A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004)

 -  Documentary | Sport  -  March 2004 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 286 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 9 user | 25 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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
...
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
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

Inside The Wild Wild World Of Professional Bowling!

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

March 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Features Kingpin (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting look at a somewhat forgotten sport
26 January 2009 | by (Bernardsville, NJ) – See all my reviews

Focusing on the underbelly of professional bowing, ALOOG, shows what happens when three microsoft engineers decide to buy the Professional Bowlers' Association for $5m in the hopes of reviving the sport. With the help of a former Nike executive, Steve Miller, the sport is given a makeover for the 21st century. Some bowlers are skeptical, and some delusional, yet the PBA tour regains a t.v. contract with ESPN. Long days on the road, loneliness, paltry paychecks, and the hope of redemption and riches that fuel these men on make it an interesting movie. The price that is paid in terms of broken marriages, stress, lack of respect all combine to create a vivid portrait.

Of the four bowlers profiled, ex physics professor Walter Williams is by far the most successful. Happily married, he lives comfortably on his bowling winnings, and by movies end has earned an impressive 400k in earnings on tour. The others, a son of a legendary bowler himself, a hall of famer who is alone, and broke at movies end, and a family man on his way up in the tour are presented as three dimensional people not caricatures from a movie like 'Kingpin'. Worth checking out.


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