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Major League (1989)

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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 (as David Ward)

Writer:

David S. Ward (as David Ward)
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3,833 ( 946)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Jake Taylor
Charlie Sheen ... Ricky Vaughn
Corbin Bernsen ... Roger Dorn
Margaret Whitton ... Rachel Phelps
James Gammon ... Lou Brown
Rene Russo ... Lynn Wells
Wesley Snipes ... Willie Mays Hayes
Charles Cyphers ... Charlie Donovan
Chelcie Ross ... Eddie Harris
Dennis Haysbert ... Pedro Cerrano
Andy Romano ... Pepper Leach
Bob Uecker ... Harry Doyle
Steve Yeager Steve Yeager ... Duke Temple
Peter Vuckovich Peter Vuckovich ... Haywood
Stacy Carroll Stacy Carroll ... Suzanne Dorn
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Storyline

Rachel Phelps is the new owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. However, her plans for the team are rather nefarious. She wants to move the team to Miami for the warmer climate and a new stadium. To justify the move, the team has to lose, and lose badly. So she assembles the worst possible team she can. Among these are a past-his-prime catcher with bad knees, a shrewd but past-his-prime pitcher, a young tearaway pitcher (and felon) with a 100 mph fastball but absolutely no control, a third baseman who is too wealthy and precious to dive, a voodoo-loving slugger who can't hit a curve ball and an energetic-but-naive lead off hitter and base-stealer who can't keep the ball on the ground. Against the odds, and after the inevitable initial failures, they iron out some of their faults and start to win, much to Ms Phelps' consternation. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When these three oddballs try to play hardball, the result is totally screwball. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Japanese

Release Date:

7 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Indianer von Cleveland See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,836,265, 9 April 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$49,797,148
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film depicted a sparse crowd for Opening Day. Even though the Indians routinely drew sparse crowds during their lean years, they generally would have sell outs or near sell outs for Season or Home Openers. See more »

Goofs

In the last game against the Yankees, at "Two outs, top of the ninth, still tied at 2, Harris working on a 7-hitter" the local NBC station name is visible on the scoreboard over Harris' shoulder as WTMJ TV 4. WTMJ 4 is based out of Milwaukee. If it were Cleveland, it would read WKYC 3. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rachel Phelps: Good morning, gentlemen, and welcome to another season of Indians baseball.
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Alternate Versions

In the spring training scene in which Dorn challenges his prescribed calisthenics, an edited-for-television version of the film has Lou Brown blowing his nose in Dorn's contract rather than urinating on it. See more »


Soundtracks

Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Bamberger Symphoniker
Conducted by Joseph Keilberth
Courtesy of Teldec Record Service GmbH
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Miracle On The Cuyahoga
13 August 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Major League was six years too early in its prophecy for success for the Cleveland Indians. I'm old enough to remember when they had a good team back in the Fifties. When I was just a small kid, large Municipal Stadium known without affection as mistake on the lake used to have 70,000 plus crowds because the Indians had such players as Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Joe Gordon, and Satchel Paige. But when that team went bad, the larger the stadium and they had the largest in baseball looked all the more empty.

Terry Pluto wrote a book on the history of the Indians failure called The Curse Of Colavito. In 1959 the Indians finished a respectable second to the White Sox in the pennant race that year with Casey Stengel's Yankees having an inexplicable bad season and a distant third. Rocky Colavito led the American League in home runs and he was the most popular fellow in Cleveland. He became one of a select group of Major Leaguers that year to hit four home-runs in one game. And he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for the batting champion, Harvey Kuenn. It was never the same for Cleveland.

Which takes us to the futile Indians of 1989 as futile in real life as they start on screen. The team comes into the possession of a new owner former showgirl Margaret Whitton. Her contract with the city specifies that if the team attendance dips below 700,000 for the season, she can move the team and she wants the warm sun of Miami instead of winters on the Cuyahoga River.

Building a winning team in baseball is a lot harder than what you see in Major League. But this collection of goofballs, misfits, and has beens actually get mad enough and start winning.

Major League has a nice collection of players playing ballplayers like veteran catcher Tom Berenger, narcissistic third baseman Corbin Bernsen, juvenile delinquent rookie pitcher Charlie Sheen known as Wild Thing for his lack of control, Wesley Snipes as center-fielder Willie Mays Hayes and Dennis Haysbert as a Santeria observing power hitter. It is the American League so Haysbert probably is the designated hitter. My favorite in the film is veteran manager James Gammon who pulls this collection together for a winning team.

Major League is a film for baseball and film fans it so nicely blends the interests. As for the Cleveland Indians when Municipal Stadium closed down and they got a new ballpark in Jacobs Field, they actually won a couple of pennants in 1995 and 1997. Of course the process to build the Indians wasn't half as entertaining as Major League is.


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