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Eight Men Out (1988)

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A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

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(book), (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... George 'Buck' Weaver
... Charles 'Commie' Comiskey
... Arnold Rothstein
... 'Sleepy' Bill Burns
... William 'Kid' Gleason
... Oscar 'Hap' Felsch
... Eddie Cicotte
... Joseph 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson
... Arnold 'Chick' Gandil
... Charles 'Swede' Risberg
... Claude 'Lefty' Williams
... Fred McMullin
... Ray Schalk
... Dickie Kerr
... Eddie Collins
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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:

1919. The year America saw major league baseball played a whole new way...underhanded. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Acht Mann und ein Skandal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,129,491, 5 September 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,680,515
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A child in the movie utters the famous quote, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" In real-life, a Chicago reporter was standing close by, when a boy said something to the effect of, "Say it didn't really happen, Joe." The reporter took creative license, and created the "Say it ain't so, Joe!" quote, to give the story more emotional impact. See more »

Goofs

Many newspaper headlines are in variations of the Helvetica typeface, designed in 1957. See more »

Quotes

[Burns and Maharg approach Abe Attell at the racetrack]
Abe Atell: They don't take nickle bets down here, fellas.
[to Burns]
Abe Atell: You, you were a ball player.
Bill Burns: Bill Burns.
Abe Atell: 'Sleepy' Bill Burns! Strictly bench material.
Bill Burns: I won a few games.
Abe Atell: You lost a few more.
[to Maharg]
Abe Atell: And you my friend did not get that nose bobbing for apples.
[...]
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 »

Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.35 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

After You've Gone
Music by Turner Layton words by Henry Creamer
1923
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dear God, I love this movie!
16 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

John Sayles is always, always honest with his audiences, never resorting to cheap tricks or unwarranted sentiment; and this period drama about the "Black Sox" scandal of 1919 may be his finest hour. Incredibly handsome and lavish-looking for a low-budget indie, it's a meticulous re-creation of the first huge scandal in American professional sports, and the beginning of the loss of innocence in pro baseball (and American popular culture by extension). If that makes it sound a bit dry, let it be said that the characterizations are vivid, the characters multilayered, the costumes gorgeous, and the staging of the baseball games unusually convincing. (Ever notice how movie stars can't really fake pro-athlete moves? Watch John Cusack charge an outfield fly, or Charlie Sheen slide into third--they had me convinced.) In a uniformly excellent cast, David Strathairn's morally tortured star pitcher is especially impressive, as is John Mahoney's manager, alternately loving and despising his players, his eroding trust etched on his expressive face. And what a wonderful touch having Studs Terkel play a cynical sportswriter: He's the essence of Chicago style.

Some of the facts of the story are necessarily simplified or omitted to keep the movie under two hours, but there's not a moment of dishonesty or "Field of Dreams"-type goo. By the time the kid is looking Joe Jackson in the eye and pleading, "Say it ain't so," you'll probably be sniffling.

A high-water mark in the career of a great, versatile, underappreciated moviemaker.


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