7.2/10
17,362
93 user 44 critic

Eight Men Out (1988)

Trailer
2:18 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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

Writers:

Eliot Asinof (book), John Sayles (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
The Natural (1984)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close
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
61* (TV Movie 2001)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Billy Crystal
Stars: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Anthony Michael Hall
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
Hoosiers (1986)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
City of Hope (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An intersecting tale with a multitude of characters living lives which, in one way or another, revolve around an old apartment block scheduled to be demolished.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo
Matewan (1987)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell
Passion Fish (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After an accident leaves her a paraplegic, a former soap opera star struggles to recover both emotionally and mentally, until she meets her newest nurse, who has struggles of her own.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 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
The Babe (1992)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After 19 years of playing the game he's loved his whole life, Billy Chapel has to decide if he's going to risk everything and put everything out there.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jace Alexander ... Dickie Kerr
John Cusack ... Buck Weaver
Gordon Clapp ... Ray Schalk
Don Harvey ... Swede Risberg
Bill Irwin ... Eddie Collins
Perry Lang ... Fred McMullin
John Mahoney ... Kid Gleason
James Read ... Lefty Williams
Michael Rooker ... Chick Gandil
Charlie Sheen ... Hap Felsch
David Strathairn ... Eddie Cicotte
D.B. Sweeney ... 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
James Desmond James Desmond ... Smitty (as Jim Desmond)
John Sayles ... Ring Lardner
Studs Terkel ... Hugh Fullerton
Edit

Storyline

The great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 is the saddest team to ever win a pennant. The team is bitter at their penny pincher owner, Charles Comiskey, and at their own teammates. Gamblers take advantage of this opportunity to offer some players money to throw the series. (Most of the players didn't get as much as promised.) But Buck Weaver and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson turn back at the last minute and try to play their best. The Sox actually almost come back from a 3-1 deficit. Two years later, the truth breaks out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. They are found innocent by the jury but baseball commissioner Landis has other plans. The eight players are suspended for life, and Buck Weaver, for the rest of his life, tries to clear his name. Written by Patrick Lynn <pjustinl@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Scandal That Rocked A Nation See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Eight Men Out See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,129,491, 5 September 1988

Gross USA:

$5,680,515
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles said he felt the film was cursed. In the eleven years it took to get the film made, Orion Pictures turned it down twice, and family members of the players portrayed sued. See more »

Goofs

Cincinnati is the first team shown batting in Game 1, even though they are the home team. In the previous scene, when Rothstein first arrives to listen to the play-by-play, the announcer reads off the results of Chicago's turn at bat in the top of the first inning. See more »

Quotes

Billy Maharg: [while scouting potential players for the fix] Eddie Collins?
Bill Burns: Nah. Collins is the only one on the club getting paid what he's worth. Had it in his contract when he got traded.
Billy Maharg: What about Chick Gandil?
[Gandil fouls a pitch back]
Bill Burns: He might do business. Chickie's a sport.
Billy Maharg: Buck Weaver?
Bill Burns: Bucky's one of the boys, but the thing about Bucky is he don't like to lose.
[Weaver grounds out and kicks the ground in disgust]
Bill Burns: Can't stand to lose. Put him on the "maybe" list.
Billy Maharg: What about Ray Schalk?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the movie, they are done against a blue cloudy sky up, then to the right and down to the bottom. Despite the ensemble cast, the most well-known leading and character actors at the time were credited first in alphabetical order, then lesser known actors that had roles that were just as large or larger were credited in pairs of two. Example: John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, and Charlie Sheen were credited first, due to their successes with The Sure Thing, Back to the Future, and Platoon, respectively, but in pairs, Michael Rooker, Kevin Tighe, and Richard Edson also had pivotal roles, but were lesser known. Charlie Sheen was already well-established, but had no more than a few minutes of screen time the entire movie, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Edson were always together playing gamblers, but Lloyd was a much more well-known actor and credited first. See more »

Alternate Versions

Five seconds were cut from the British theatrical release in order to obtain a "PG" rating. The film was later released uncut on video and the rating was upgraded ("15" for the earlier release and "12" for the DVD). See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Batter Up! (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

It could happen to you
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Words by Johnny Burke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When the world was corrupt.
6 July 2004 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

I especially enjoyed Studs Terkel and John Sayles as the two sportswriters, Fullerton and Lardner. They're very droll. They act as a kind of Greek chorus, making cynical wisecracks, keeping the audience clued in on what's supposed to be going on. As the White Sox play out yet another crooked game, Sayles said to Terkel, "Nothing but fast balls." "Nice, sloow ones," adds Terkel. It gets better. Terkel writes a column for the Chicago paper accusing gamblers of corrupting the game of baseball and Sayles is reading it aloud. "Writers are tainting the game," or something, says Sayles. "Keep reading," says Terkel. "The game would be better off without the long-nosed, thick-lipped Eastern element preying on our boys in the field." Terkels smiles around his cigar and says, "Makes you proud to be a sportswriter, doesn't it?"

The rest of the movie is pretty good too, although I sometimes get the characters and their motives a little mixed up. The baseball scenes are very well done. I say this, being no big fan of the sport myself. Charlie Sheen (a true aficionado) looks like he's heaving a heavy bat as he clunks out a hit, not a rubber prop. I admired too the way the series games swung back and forth as the players on the take tried to figure out if they were playing for the money or for themselves. It's tough to throw a game because part of one's self always wants to do what one does best -- in this case, play baseball well. The German ethologists call it "Funktionslust." In the end, despite some indecision, they do however lose.

The movie isn't kind to the gamblers or to the owners. Comisky was incredibly cheap and greedy. The script gives this as one of the reasons why the players agreed to throw the game. As Strathairn says when someone offers him a part payment, "I don't care about the money." He's throwing the games to foul up Comisky who has just denied him a promised bonus because Strathairn, playing the pitcher Cicotte, has only played 29 games instead of the 30 they'd agreed upon. Comisky has made him sit on the bench for the last few games so he wouldn't cross the bonus threshold. (Question: Given that Comisky cheated Cicotte of the contracted bonus, was Cicotte morally justified in throwing the games?)

The movie isn't nice to the gamblers either. Not only don't they pay off but they treat the players with contempt. Arnold Rothstein ("A.R.") treats EVERYBODY rudely. He never says hello when he enters a room, never says good-bye when leaving, and never smiles.

I kind of liked this. Sayles may not be a master but his films are always highly individualized. I cannot visualize him directing "Die Hard With A Sardonic Grin."


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 93 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed