Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way (TV Movie 1997) Poster

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Has too much of a low budget look and feel to it to be taken seriously.
TheAgent6 July 1999
Paul Sorvino does a decent job playing Joe Torre, but his performance cannot overcome the low budget look and feel the movie had.

The movie re-enacted a fight scene in a game that the Yankees played on the road in Seattle. Up until a week ago (6/27/99) the Mariners played their home games at the Kingdome, inside and on artificial turf. The fight scene in Seattle takes place outdoors with sunlight and on grass!

In scenes that took place during games, different filming techniques were used to make these scenes appear as though they were taken from televised footage. It looks like the intent was to seamlessly integrate that with actual game footage to give the appearance that the combination of the two came from the same broadcast. It wasn't effective; the end result being that the package was more "seamy" than it would have been otherwise.

The actors who depicted actual ballplayers were overall not very authentic. Only the actor who played Dwight Gooden and the actor who played Mariano Duncan were even halfway convincing. The actor playing David Cone looked like a person that had never played baseball who was trying to act like a baseball player.

Baseball fans are sticklers for details. To make a successful baseball movie, you have to take the time to make sure the details are right. Use authentic jerseys and at least try to duplicate the appearance of a game venue accurately if you can't use the actual venue itself. Get actors who know how to act and talk like baseball players.
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Sure it's cheap, but I don't care.
FeverDog23 April 2004
This was a baseball movie I thought I'd never get a chance to see: a TV movie that's never on TV and has, as far as I know, never been released on video. So imagine my delight when I saw this available on VoD, and for only $1.95! It can't suck that bad, right?

It doesn't. I don't disagree with the other comments here. Yes, the video inserts during actual game footage are jarring, but they're somehow not distracting. (The technique of combining documentary footage with scripted performances was used more successfully in AFTER THE SHOCK - another television movie with a baseball connection.) And the on-field re-enactments are unconvincing, though I've yet to see a baseball movie with authentic-looking game action.

Most of the actors acquit themselves here. Steinbrenner got more believable as the movie progresses - so much that I stopped thinking of the "Seinfeld" caricature. Paul Sorvino took a moment to get used to, but was probably the best casting choice possible. And Robert Loggia does sorta look like Frank Torre (while unfortunately sounding exactly like Robert Loggia).

What about the players? They're more hit-and-miss. Doc seemed the most accurate, and I also approved of the actor who portrayed Joe Girardi. Boggs wasn't awful, either.

But where did they get Strawberry and O'Neill? Neither was believable on or off the field, and neither physically resembled their real-life counterparts in the slightest.

If you live in the New York area or have read Joe Torre's autobiography "Chasing the Dream," there's nothing in this movie you don't already know. We're all familiar with Torre's professional history before coming to the Yankees, and Gooden's past, and Coney's medical problems, and the Jeffrey Maier incident. Everyone else may be confused about what's going on, since the movie is not very informative and suffers from choppy editing. But I did appreciate some minor details throughout, like what a pitching coach actually does and Boggsy's bad memories of the '86 World Series. And the many clips of the '96 Yankees season (good and bad) are always great to see again.

CURVEBALLS ALONG THE WAY is not the worst baseball movie ever made (try watching a MAJOR LEAGUE sequel, or STEALING HOME, or THE SLUGGER'S WIFE). It ain't even the worst Yankee movie out there, as anyone who's suffered through THE SCOUT can attest.
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tommywri19 May 2003
As a Yankee fan, as a Torre fan, as a Gooden fan I have to say this movie was awful. I looked forward to seeing it as I attended many of the games of the 1996 season, but it was dreadful. The close ups to game footage shots made my skin crawl. This should be an easy favorite for "Worst 100 of all time"
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This movie was bad.
Jaime2013 October 1998
Instead of depicting Joe Torre as a regular guy who did a great job with a great team, it made him seem like Ghandi. It was over-dramatic and trite.
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Easily the worst baseball movie ever
Ferrick27 March 2000
There might be a baseball movie out there that can rival how bad this one is, but I doubt it. For such great actors cast in some of the parts, I was sorely disappointed by the performances. The cinematography was poor, going from shots during a game that were obviously on a sound stage to crowd shots from any baseball broadcast. They would purposely do close up shots so you wouldn't see that nobody was actually there. Just not believable at all. I couldn't suspend my disbelief at all. Blech!
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An enjoyable small movie with highlights
donald_rose30 December 2005
The only comment I have seen on IMDb was a spoiler with which I disagreed.

This movie never set out or purported to be an artistic classic. It is just a simple movie about a baseball player/manager, his family and his major achievement.

Yes I like baseball although cricket is the game I'm most involved with. Yes I enjoyed this movie as a baseball lover.

What you will miss if you just treat this as a one-dimensional clunker is the wonderful warm vignettes of Italian family life portrayed by brilliant actors wonderfully cast. Not overdone or clouded by the Italian-American propensity to view their families too sentimentally.

Then you have the portrayal of top level athletes in the confines of their dressing rooms. Not hysterical, over the top psychopaths but calm, dedicated professionals doing something they desperately love. Here I have to nominate Isaiah Washington for his beautifully underplayed yet insightful portrait of a man wanting to atone for past misdeeds.

Hollywood produces overblown garbage hyped to the limits to recoup investors' funds. Yet when a gentle, small but highly professional film like this is made we fail to recognise that telling simple stories in an unadorned manner is what movie making lacks. This move tells a story. Simply, effectively, with skilled actors within type, who inhabit their characters to illustrate the story.
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This movie is GREAT!!
kirby1971118 April 2004
This movie is GREAT! I call it a 10, that being the best! It is what it is, a baseball movie! How many of those are classics anyway?? C'mon, of course it's not going to make anyone forget "On the Waterfront" for example. But it's GREAT as far as baseball movies go! I loved it! Watched it five times already and just bought it the other day!The acting was great, the story was great! It's a Rocky in pinstripes!To me it was a .400 hitter!Joe Torre is one of the all time great managers now,a sure fire HOF candidate.All the years he toiled as a player and under appreciated manager turned around when he got the call from Mr. Steinbrenner. Torre as a Cardinal manager was very gracious to the fans even, never neglecting to sign a ball for instance.My friend from St. Louis said it was not uncommon for Torre to sign for fans for hours. Even after a game when the Cards got skunked!His stats as a player are just short of the HOF, and in fact he is better than many enshrined! Props to the movie!It's about time the man had a movie made about his life!Thanks for reading!

Thanks! It's a HOME RUN!
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