Up 13,974 this week

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004)

R  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  March 2004 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 294 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 9 user | 24 critic | 17 from

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.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


Interview: Magic Mike

The Magic Mike XXL guys give some relationship advice to a 74-year-old fan.

Watch Now

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 546 titles
created 26 Oct 2011
a list of 2063 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
a list of 594 titles
created 19 Dec 2012
a list of 169 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
a list of 579 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004)

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A League of Ordinary Gentlemen.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In an alternate Victorian Age world, a group of famous contemporary fantasy, SF and adventure characters team up on a secret mission.

Director: Stephen Norrington
Stars: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson
Split I (2015)
Comedy | Romance | Sport

As her 30th birthday looms, an over-achieving woman with a thing for bowlers decides to marry the man of her dreams in just under a month.

Director: Jamie Buckner
Stars: Inder Kumar, MacLeod Andrews, Benjamin Wood
Gutterballs (2008)
Comedy | Horror | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A brutally sadistic rape leads to a series of bizarre gory murders during a midnight disco bowl-a-rama at a popular bowling alley. One by one, players of two teams meet blood-drenched ... See full summary »

Director: Ryan Nicholson
Stars: Alastair Gamble, Mihola Terzic, Nathan Witte
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin wants to achieve success in show biz by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott


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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


Features Kingpin (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An unvarnished behind-the-scenes look at the Pro Bowlers Associaion
15 March 2009 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

An initial brief history details the decline of bowling in past decades, culminating in ABC television discontinuing coverage of the sport in 1997. But then in 2000 three ex-Microsoft execs bought the Pro Bowlers Association (PBA) for $5 million with the idea of resuscitating the sport. They hired Steve Miller, previously Nike's Director of Global Sports Marketing, as CEO of the PBA. Miller is a no-nonsense, tough, foul-mouthed, organizer. He is quoted as saying that his main focus in on the sponsors and the audience and that he views the players as replaceable. Whatever you feel about Miller, he was successful in putting bowling back on the map, landing a TV contract with ESPN.

This documentary is not so much about bowling as it is about people. In addition to getting to know Miller we follow four pro bowlers during the 2002-2003 PBA tour season, leading up to the final World Championship. We follow Pete Weber (the flamboyant bad boy), Walter Ray Williams (the well-adjusted true pro), Chris Barnes (the rising young star), and Wayne Webb (rapidly becoming a has been). I was surprised at how much access the filmmakers were given to the people involved. Through interviews with them and their significant others, and watching their behavior on the lanes, we get to know them pretty well. We get beyond the usual, "I take it one day at a time," and "I give it my best every day." For example, consider this quote from Wayne Webb, "Giving your whole life to something, thinking it will never die, thinking it will never go bad, and then it does, and having nothing to back me up, no college, no other career to step into, then that part of it is the part that really hurts."

I found the reaction shots, where the camera would linger on a person who was not at the center of the action, to be very effective. The looks of frustration and dejection told us a lot. One of the most poignant scenes had Wayne walking alone across an empty parking lot to his car at night, after a loss.

Wayne confessed to having a gambling problem, but most all of these bowlers must be gamblers to some extent. They go to the tournaments and there is a very good chance that they will come away with no money and, given the costs to participate, they will lose money. A profession where you never know when you will get a reward is a risky one. The toll this lifestyle takes on the players and their families is well presented.

After hearing some of the language used by these players I have to question the use of the word "gentlemen" in the title. A more appropriate title would be, "A League of Ordinary Men."

The music adds a great deal to the proceedings. The use of some classical pieces by Mozart and Bach would seem an odd choice, but they were effective. And original music by Gary Meister complemented the moods of the film well.

I am an ex-bowler who used to bowl upward to fifty lines a week, so I know the appeal of participating, but I think the sport is always going to be fighting a stiff headwind as a spectator sport. For one thing, it is hard to view bowlers as athletes. A couple of the shots in this film were blocked by the enormous guts of some of the competitors. And many of the top bowlers seem to be in their 40s. Some aggressive young stars would help. Plus there is not much variety to keep your interest--it's just following the ball down the alley and seeing how many pins fall. The ambiance of a bowling alley is a bit dark and claustrophobic, especially compared to a golf course, or a baseball or football field. And it's frequently the case that the match play events are settled long before the tenth frame, so there is not much tension. It was fortunate that the final game in this movie went into the tenth frame.

I give this movie a lot of credit for its honesty and its production values. You would not have to be a bowler to find it interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Proposed DVD Release Date sirexit
DVD release dgomie05
Does PDW fess up to drugs? dbale5
gee a bowling doc eric-694
Coming to Twin Cities? bettyville
On PBS davidnabbit
Discuss A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: