A League of Their Own (1992)

Here on a snowy Saturday, I am going to get some of these movies watched and reviewed.  I will start off with A League of Their Own, a classic film about the All-American Girls Baseball League.

During World War II, people were concerned that baseball might be shutdown because the male players were needed in the war effort.  In response, they began a female baseball league to fill the gap. That is a true story.  A League of Their Own is a fictionalized version of this historical truth.

A League of Their Own is the story of two sisters, Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty) from a dairy farm in Oregon, who were recruited to join the fledgling baseball league.  Dottie was the best player in the league and Kit always felt in her shadow.

However, the film was not just about the sibling rivalry.  There were many great scenes with the other members of the team played by a fantastic cast.  Madonna played “All-the-Way” Mae, a promiscuous sparkplug.  Rosie O’Donnell played Doris, a loud, obnoxious but big time hitter.  Tom Hanks was Jimmy Dugan, a former baseball star who lost years at the end of his career to alcohol and became the team’s reluctant manager.  Other great cast members included Garry Marshall, Bitty Schram, Anne Ramsey, Bill Pullman, Jon Lovitz, Tea Leoni, David Strathairn and Ann Cusack.

I love this movie.  It has so many absolutely classic moments that I love.  It also has my all-time favorite quote in any situation.  I am sure everyone would say that it would be “There’s no crying in baseball” because that is the most famous of the quotes.  However, that is not it.  My favorite quote comes near the end of the film when Dottie’s husband returned from WWII and she decides to go back to Oregon with him instead of to the World Series.  Jimmy hears this and he confronts her.  Dottie said that it “Just got too hard” and Jimmy responds “It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.”  I love that quote because it sums up my exact feelings of baseball and why it is such a emotional and compelling sport to me.

But there are other scenes as well.  The “no crying” scene includes a confrontation between Jimmy and the umpire where Jimmy asks him if “anyone ever say you look like a penis with a little hat on?”  Then, after being tossed from the game, Jimmy says, “You misunderstood me!”  LOL!  That is funny. But there were poignant scenes as well. The scene where Betty “Spaghetti” (Tracy Reiner) receives a telegram from the War Department telling her that her husband had been killed in battle was heartbreaking and painful.  This excellent cast was up to every challenge it was presented with.

I do have one major problem with the movie and it deals with a spoiler.  The character of Kit is so unlikable, whiny and bratty, but yet the movie gives her the big moment in the end.  Everything dealing with Kit makes me want to see her lose, not get the big hit in the end.  Heck, even in the final scene, she selfishly runs through a stop sign at third base to barrel over her sister at home plate, knocking the ball free to win the game.  To me, the character does not earn that scene because there is absolutely no growth from her through the entirety of the film.  I loved it when Dottie finally stood up and called out her babyish behavior.  I hated watching her new team carry her around on their shoulders like she was a hero of the game.

Other than that, I love A League of Their Own.  It has wonderful scenes and it truly promotes the love of baseball that I have had for my entire life.  The sentimental scenes at the film’s end at the Hall of Fame were extremely well done as well, creating a sense of nostalgia despite the film not even being over yet.

If not for Kit, this would be rated higher.  I do love the movie and I consider it one of my favorites of all time.  As a movie, I give it…

vintage

Image result for a league of their own movie poster

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