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 <email@example.com>
Early in the film, Eddie Collins (Bill Irwin) takes a piece of chewing gum out of his mouth, and places it on the button of his cap, which Collins did in real life. He would put the gum back in his mouth if he had two strikes during an at-bat. See more »
In the movie, Hughie Fullerton and Ring Lardner work together and separately during the games (while they are reporting) to mark down any fishy plays or players. In real life, Christy Mathewson worked with Hughie Fullerton. See more »
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 »
Five seconds were cut from the British theatrical release in order to obtain a "PG" rating by removing a use of strong language. The film was later released uncut on video and the rating was upgraded to "15", which was subsequently downgraded to "12" for the DVD. See more »
Quite good, authentic, gets a little too complex later on..., 25 August 2002 (This comment was deleted by IMDb based on an abuse report filed by another user) I always have liked this one. Sayles takes a complex and important part of our country's sporting past and tries to make sense of it. I admire the casting, the baseball parts are authentic looking, and you gotta enjoy seeing old John Anderson as Kenesaw Mtn Landis. Dead on.
In reality, Charlie Sheen looks a lot more like Chick Gandil than Rooker does, but that is okay. Both guys were fine in their roles. Sweeney takes some of the 'Field of Dreams' mystique outta the Joe Jax role, simply plays him as a gifted hitter who was a dumb hick outside the field. Buck Weaver-as played by Cusack-sympathetic as well, nicely done.
All of them in fact-familiar faces, be it Harvey or Straitharn(kinda Bill Bixby looking isn't he?) or 'Ray Schalk', 'Lefty Williams', etc. The usual great Sayles ensemble. I also like seeing Clifton James in here too as 'the Old Roman'. 'Live and Let Die', anyone? What doesn't work? Some of the guys look too much alike, and if yer not a baseball fan you won't know Risberg from Mullen. And the whole business between Christopher Lloyd, the varied gamblers and the law, well-it was difficult to follow that too.
It looks like: Comiskey paid off the Gamblers to keep their association outta the public eye. At least that is shown. And to target the players only.
Comiskey paid for the lawyers repping the players, 'secretly'.
The Gamblers bought off the jury to keep the players from being convicted and gamblers possibly being drug into trial further.
The players didn't have reps when signing the confessions and were tricked, esp. Joe Jax.
The Commissioner was gonna tar and feather the 8 no matter how the jury went to make an example for everyone to see.
Kenesaw Landis was a corrupt racist who helped make sure the black players were kept outta the game during his lifetime(thru '44)...
The Gamblers/mob guys got away with it, even though they were the ones who set it up, profited from it, paid for it, etc. Comiskey was a cheap SOB who deserved what he got too. Disgraceful.
It all looks like a set up, doesn't it? No matter what happened, the players were not going to get out unscathed.
Very good flick. ***1/2 outta ****
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