Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) Poster

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A Wonderful Idea
ChrisNYC12 April 2001
Hey, there are worse reasons to make a movie than the hope that a kid and a few professional ballplayers might be able to change the world. Is Alex English a fantastic actor? No... but he's believable. And if you are willing to suspend your disbelief about the plot, you can have an amazing ride with this movie. It's a great idea... and the movie plays it off pretty darned well.

Nothing wrong with a movie that make you believe that a dream could happen.
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One of the best Kid's Movies ever
wdemurjian6 April 2005
Provided you are capable of a "willful suspension of disbelief" regarding the implausible plot premise, this is a delightful movie. Truly one of the best kid's movies of all-time (right up there with "The Sandlot").

This movie combines some well-known stars (Gregory Peck, Jamie Lee Curtis, and William Peterson) with some surprising debuts (Joshua Zuehlke as Chuck and former NBA great, Alex English, as Amazing).

The story is heart-warming, with some genuine tear-jerkers, and the closing is uplifting (though a tad predictable). There are some surprises, a few quotable lines, and lots of inspiring moments.

I can't recommend this enough, if you want to believe that anyone can make a difference in this mixed-up world of ours.
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Says amazing things about the human spirit!
dannar6918 September 2001
While ultimately this movie may be incredibly unrealistic, Amazing Grace and Chuck still has an important and powerful message about the need to make sacrifices for something you truly believe in. An outstanding performance by the cast solidifies this movie as one of my favorites.
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sentimental anti-nuke fantasy ...
AlsExGal16 October 2017
... about Little League baseball pitcher Chuck (Joshua Zuehlke) who, after taking a tour of a nuclear missile silo, has a terrible dream about nuclear Armageddon that inspires him to refuse to pitch anymore games as long as nuclear missiles exist in the world.

His story gets picked up nationally, where it strikes a chord with NBA superstar "Amazing Grace" Smith (Alex English). He decides to refuse to play as well, and he moves to Chuck's small hometown. They are soon joined by more professional athletes, as the world's sportspeople all take up the cause. Their innocent campaign has consequences, though, such as angry locals, as well as disapproval from the highest levels of power.

Co-starring William L. Petersen and Frances Conroy as Chuck's parents, Jamie Lee Curtis as Amazing Grace's sports agent, Lee Richardson as a shady financier and power-broker, and, in his first big screen role in 7 years, Gregory Peck as the U.S. president.

This is silly stuff, operating at a child's level of naivete. The message is a nice one, if in no way practical. There were a few of these anti-nuke films in the waning days of the Cold War, and most were terrible. The acting is passable in this one, if nothing memorable, and there aren't any stand-out moments scriptwise, either. It's technically well-made, with Robert Elswit on cinematography and Elmer Bernstein providing the score.

Possibly worth it for a historical perspective, albeit a pedestrian one.
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Wonderful and sad
amwoods1312 November 1999
Who'd have thought that sappy movie starring an ex-pro athlete about nuclear disarmament would be this terrific. While the big theme--nuclear disarmament--is always omnipresent, it is the small themes of the movie--family, friendship, hero worship, life priorities, peer pressure--that make Amazing Grace and Chuck so watchable and, ultimately, sure to make you cry. Amazing Grace and Chuck sounds corny, but is really moving. It is a movie I can see over and over.
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It gets me every time
kronick2 August 2004
I saw this movie years ago and have never forgotten it.

The story is of a young boy protesting nuclear weapons by refusing to play Little League baseball. Professional players join in his fight when they hear of his cause. While in this day and age its somewhat unlikely, it offers a great feeling of hope, of truly believing in something, and sacrificing luxuries for the greater good of the world. I love this movie, its not flashy but it touches the heart. Maybe I am a sap, but I don't think I have had one viewing of this movie without being brought to tears. See this movie at least once. Its worth it.

If you show this movie to your children, there is an emotional (but not graphic) death in this movie.
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So awful it might be worth your time
ricandersen8 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One of the five worst movies I have ever watched. And I'm not exaggerating. In fact, I recommend watching it so you can get the same feeling of incredulity as you might by watching Showgirls.

Out of 400 votes, the movie gets a user rating of 5.3/10. But there is a disproportionate number of voters who gave it a 10/10, probably due to the message of the movie - nuclear weapons are the bane of mankind. Chuck Murdock is an all-star little league pitcher who gives up baseball because there are nuclear weapons. Soon "Amazing Grace" Smith is an all-star Boston Celtic who is inspired by Chuck's story and gives up basketball. Soon all sports leagues from the professional level to college to high school to little league dismantle in a world-wide protest. Later all the children of the world go on a silence strike. This inspires the President of the United States to meet with the Soviet Premier, who in time agree to eliminate all nuclear weapons in time for the start of the next Little League season. The movie ends with Chuck about to throw out the first pitch, with the President telling his new best friend Chuck not to worry about striking out every batter, as he hasn't thrown a baseball in a year.

Somewhere along the line a nefarious underworld boss kills Amazing Grace. When the President finds out he is told that the FBI can verify the killer but will never be able to prove it. So the President calls the underworld boss ("But it's one a.m." "I don't care, get him on the line") and tell him that he is to resign from all company boards that he sits on and sell all stocks that he has. And to not get out of line again.

Honestly, this movie was so crappy that I couldn't turn it off. It was on television from 2:30 am to 4:00 am, and I watched it all. I wasn't turned off by the anti-nuclear weapons propaganda. I was turned off by the implausible break down of all organized sports. I don't even understand why "Amazing Grace" Smith was killed. And with all these famous athletes becoming Chuck's friends, why the father was constantly upset with his son taking a principled stand. And there was the cliché moment near the end when dad tells Chuck, "I never told you this, but I'm proud of you." Cue hug.
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Totally under-rated feel-good movie with a message.
bruin-125 May 2001
A remarkably enjoyable movie that's particularly entertaining for sports fans and anyone who's not a raging right-wing hawk. Alex English is so engaging & natural that I'm surprised he hasn't done more acting.
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A young boy stands up for what he thinks is right and wins.
rmarcel5 March 2002
I watch this movie every time it's on HBO and enjoy it every time. I just purchased it for my grandkids. I think it show kids that adults do listen when given the chance. Especially since 9/11, I think they need to see that their ideas of peace should be looked at closely. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
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Have to agree with pierredb
garyblack14 August 2005
This was among the STUPIDEST and PREACHIEST of the anti-nuke films out of the 1980s.

The idea that a kid and a basketball star could "change the world" is pretty far-fetched, given how many "children's peace marches" and "celebrity protests" there were and ARE.

But the idea that the Soviet Union would agree to a TOTAL nuclear disarmament, because some apparatchik kids learned of a "silent protest" in the West, is ludicrous.

What ended the Cold War? America's tough, dare I say "Reaganesque" stance and the internal failures of socialism. It was NOT the peace marches, the "die-ins" or films like "Amazing Grace & Chuck", "Miracle Mile", or "Testament".
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Little Known But One of My Favorites
stotland-223 February 2008
I wish they would put this out on DVD so I could get a copy to watch with my kids. It's a wonder fairy tale w/ well developed characters and interesting themes. You also get to watch Gregory Peck as the president of the US; what could be better than that? For those of you who are basketball fans, watching Alex English try to act is fun as well. Even though he's not much of an actor his performance is heartfelt and it's hard not to like the character. The movie's got one of my favorite lines:

President (Peck): the constitution gives you the freedom of speech but that doesn't mean you can walk into a crowded movie theater and yell "fire." Kid: But sir, what if there really is a fire?

It's easy to get past the cheese and enjoy this movie...if you can find it.
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A good flick for young or old
SisterArtemis25 November 2008
I had a very different take on this movie than the previous commenter. I first watched the movie as an adult, with my 7-ish year old daughter and a couple of friends. Though somewhat simplistic in nature, the themes are pretty deep. I view the movie as a kind of audio-visual poem, a Tale rather than a mere story. Not that it's the best movie of all time (sorry, Lawrence of Arabia gets that award from me), but I always highly recommend it because the core ideas are interesting, and the story is told in such a peaceful, respectful way.

Though the plot is definitely tied to the decades old hostilities between the U.S. and the now-defunct Soviet Union (which fell about 4 years after this film was released), the problem of powerful entities at a stand-off is (sadly) a repeating one.I recommend it for any age, but it's definitely aimed at presenting adult themes to young minds.
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You're never too young for passion and commitment.
jambalayaval2 June 2004
When this movie came out in the late '80s, it spoke out about nuclear proliferation. But the central themes of passion and commitment resonate beyond the time and the cause. Even if you don't agree with or understand Chuck's refusal to play Little League until all the nuclear silos are cleared, you have to believe in his determination to be the one person who makes a difference.

You don't have to be a sports fan or a political activist to be affected by this film, which combines laughter, tears, dedication and not a few plot twists. Newcomers to the fandom of William Petersen will appreciate his performance as a very conflicted father, trying to do right by his family and his country.
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Pretty Preachy
adukovic29 May 2005
I can't imagine anyone would ever, in a million years, want to watch this movie. Not because it was one of the worst ever made (it wasn't), but largely because it's about 20 years old and oh-so-out of the mainstream. I was trying to find out where I saw an actor before and this popped up. So, yeah, a kid stops playing little league because he doesn't like nukes, this prompts major media attention and a quick resolution to the cold war. The end. A fantasy, to be sure, but one so cockeyed it would make John Lennon blush. Since terrorism has replaced communism as the -ism that scares the hell out of us, this movie really has no relevance, except as an (innaccurate) look back at those times. The writing, acting, and film craft are similarly undeveloped. The reason I rated it as highly as I did was because I watched this movie around 50 times while I was 5-6 years old and still have a little place in my heart for it, but I now realize that it doesn't quite cut mustard. So, if the law of large numbers holds true and someone eventually does decide to check out this movie, realize that there are much better ways to spend your time, but also much worse ones. (I will refrain from a John Q. tirade for now.)
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One of my favorite movies
wayne-24 April 2001
While parts of the movie I admit are far-fetched, I really liked the concept. Maybe if something like this really happened, we just might see a change in our nuclear policy - like the movie said "wouldn't it be nice?" I am not naive, and I understand how we got where we are now. Just what would it take to get rid of these things? The movie "Fail-safe" came out when I was 4, and I saw it when I was about 9. It scared the **** out of me, and I couldn't sleep for a week. There was a Nike missile site within walking distance of my house, and I thought there was a nuclear warhead there (I didn't know then, but I have since learned that the Nike system was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead). The Nike system was shut down in the '70's. Its' replacement systems, the Atlas and Titan systems, have been mostly decommissioned (as far as I know). Now we have airborne and submarine based systems. I'd love to see ALL nuclear weapons (ours and theirs)gone. What will it take? I know it will have to be more than a movie. It has to start somewhere. (climbing down from my soapbox...)

I think this is a great movie to watch with your kids, to stimulate discussion.
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Worst Movie I've ever seen
paulco-229 August 2001
I saw this in the summer of 1990. I'm still annoyed by how bad this movie is in 2001.

Implausible plot. You'd have to be a child to think this could happen.

I'm just really annoyed by it. Don't see this.
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The worst film I ever showed in 8 years of theatre management
jalapenoman4 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I spent eight years running movie theatres in the 80's and 90's. This was, by far, the worst film I ever showed to the public. One thing that made it so bad was that it put on airs of trying to be a great, inspiring film. Even the great Gregory Peck could not save this horrid piece of drivel from being far less than mediocre. Jamie Lee Curtis, in an early non-horror film role, demonstrated clearly that she had not yet learned to act (she's still trying, but it isn't getting much better).

I'm sorry, and here's the spoiler, international nuclear disarmament is never going to happen just because it makes children afraid to play little league baseball! Even the shows on Nick and The Disney Channel are not stupid enough to try to make us believe that dreck.

This is not worth the time you would waste watching it on cable TV. It is not worth the price of a movie rental; your dollar would be better spent on an extra package of microwave popcorn to go with the other movie you picked (because it can only be better than this).
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Amazing Crap
pierredb31 July 2005
I've no idea what dimwit from San Francisco came up with this stupid plot, but apparently they need to get off whatever drugs they are taking and put their analyst on danger money -- NOW.

Yeah, this is a plausible story, if you regard the alien abduction sequence in "Life of Brian" as plausible.

This film is little more than a leftist pipedream. Had the US and USSR give up nuclear weapons, the result would've been to eliminate the only real obstacle that kept the two from engaging in a war. Bad as Korea, Vietnam and other wars of the era were, they were "proxy wars" fought to keep the superpowers from a direct engagement.

This film makes me think about how realistic it was when some group of high school kids would go on a hunger strike against nuclear proliferation. As if someone would say "Mr. President, some kids at Drastic High are not eating!" and Ronald Reagan would reply "My God! I'd better revise my Defense policy!" Right.

Like this film? Wouldn't it be better if the Soviet Union would've collapsed because they could not support their massive arms build... wait, that happened!
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This movie brings a new meaning to the word "BAD"
rhwells5514 October 2001
This movie is BAD. A stupid premise, a bad script, less realism than Disney could hope for, and poor execution.

It is bad in every possible dimension of badness. Bad acting, bad directing, bad writing, bad script, bad editing...

Well, maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but LORD, it wasn't good!
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Warning: boring
Isis-89 May 2005
This movie is a bad memory from my childhood. This is one of those movies that they show kids on a rainy day at school when you can't go out for recess, and you'd rather be watching anything, ANYTHING else. At least that's what it was like when I was in elementary school. I just remember HATING this movie. Granted, I haven't seen it in 15 years or so, and they probably don't use it on rainy days anymore but I just want to warn everyone: You'd be better off using this to put your kids to sleep than entertaining them. Trust me, pick anything else. Even though the topic is kind of controversial, the plot is so tame and slow that I can't remember anything about it except that I disliked it so strongly that here, 15 years later, I felt the need to warn all of you against it.
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It it was better, it could be merely terrible
rhwells17 September 2007
This film reminds me of how college students used to protest against the Vietnam War. As if, upon hearing some kids were doing without cheeseburgers in Cow Dung Collehe, the President was going to immediately change all US foreign policy.

The worst thing is that, while dangerous, the concept of a policy based on if the USSR and US went to war it could mean the end of the world, WORKED. The US and USSR NEVER WENT TO WAR.

Had we only conventional weapons, the notion of yet another war, a "win-able" war, in Europe and Asia was not unthinkable.

Not that I think they should get rid of this movie. It should be seen by film students as a splendid example of "How NOT to make a film."

It should be 0 stars or maybe black holes...
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The Frank Capra film of the Regan era
allenblank13 March 2001
In the 1980's a number of films tried to capture the feel of a Frank Capra type film. But the only one that successfully managed to do it was "Amazing Grace And Chuck"

It's plot has young Chuck deciding that nuclear weapons is bad, deciding to protest by not pitching for his little league team in their important playoff game. Famous basketball star Amazing Grace Smith (Alex English) decides to join Chuck's protest and stops playing basketball. He then moves near Chuck. Then other athletes join the protest. The President of the United States (Gregory Peck in an excellent performance) gets involve so does Amazing Grace's agent (Jamie Lee Curtis). When a tragedy strikes Chuck adds to his protest and refuses to speak. This protest is carried on to all the children of the world.

This is a real feel good film like Frank Capra made Sure it's corny in fact it's Capracorny, that's why it's so good. It was made by Mike Newell who went on to direct "Enchanted April" and "Four Weddings And A Funeral" The critics at the time of it's release were unkind. They just put it down as overly sentimental, but what is wrong with that. Remember that same criticism was made against most of frank Capra's films including "It's a Wonderful Life". Now everybody thinks it's a classic. Watch it, you'll thank me, plus keep a box of tissues handy. This film will bring tears to your face, not unlike the ending of "It's A Wonderful Life".
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Not as dated as you might think
nelsonbatistaaudiovisuais20 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I remember catching this movie on cable as a teenager at the end of the eighties and started watching because I was a Gregory Peck and Boston Celtics fan (as well as Jamie Lee Curtis and William Peterson) but was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Yes, as many here have stated, this isn't realistic but neither is it supposed to be. I consider it a well-made and well-acted movie fable with it's heart in the right place. Although the context of the US-USSR arms race no longer applies, this movie has become relevant again in the context of the national anthem protests by sports athletes. Such as in this movie, economic and political interests conflict with athletes making a stand. Imagine if instead of kneeling to protest police violence and racial injustice, pro sports athletes stopped playing (even if only for one weekend) to make their point, as they do in this movie? How would the powers that be react to that? I only wish we really had someone like Gregory Peck as President... This movie deserves a viewing; it's a fine sports-related, family-oriented movie and Gregory Peck is always a good reason to see this.
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One of the best movie in my childhood
ultrakoso6 January 2017
This movie is a story of a boy who loves baseball and his great friend "Mr.Amazing Grace" and their fight against nuclear weapon.

One day, A boy saw a nuclear weapon and he realized its destructive power. Then, he decided to abolish nuclear weapon and he declared he quit playing baseball until the nuclear-weapon-free world is achieved. Many supporters joined his movement, and Mr.Amazing Grace is one of them. Mr.Amazing Grace is famous NBA player and he also decided to quit playing basketball till nuclear-free-world is achieved.

I'm Japanese college student and I watched this movie when I was elementary school student. I was so shocked and moved by this movie that I can remember till now. I'm frustrated by not having enough English skill to describe good point of this movie, but this movie is worth watching even though it is an ideal fiction.
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