Gus Cantrell is a major league pitcher in the twilight of his career. He contacted by Roger Dorn, General Manager of the Minnesota Twins, and offered the role of managing the Buzz, the ... See full summary »
Although a one-time MVP for the New York Yankees, Jack Elliott is now on the down side of his baseball career. His batting average is low and one of his few claims to fame is that during the previous year, he led the team in 9th inning doubles in the month of August. With an up and coming slugger ready to replace him, he learns that he's been traded to the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central baseball league. Elliott is set in his ways and quite inflexible, not only in accepting Japanese culture in general, but also with the way the baseball team is managed. When he meets his very pretty PR agent, Hiroko, he begins to gain a greater appreciation that he should accept his current situation. When he realizes her other connection to the team, his attitudes begin to change at an even greater paceWritten by
Tom Selleck has been for most of his career a box office bust. Even though this movie did not score a home run with movie goers, it is still a nicely done film. It doesn't play down Japanese stereotypes, as the writers of this film did their homework on life in Japan. I used to watch Japanese baseball, and I can tell you that the film does a pretty good interpretation. In Japan, the manager of a ball club is more of a nurturing father. It's also more like work than sport. Players run fundamental drills all day and talent takes a backseat to skill. The movie is nicely done and Selleck does a good job as selfish, self-centered Jack Elliot. Dennis Haysbert is also nice in the supporting role of Max DuBois (He had enough practice being in baseball movies after being in Major League). Ken Takakura is good as the no-nonsense manager of the club. It's a shame he hasn't done any other American films after this one. Aya Takanashi is also nice as Jack's love interest. If you can, get the video or DVD because the TV version makes some of the most absurd edits and cuts I have seen.
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