Welcome to our second on-going series of the season; This is America. America can be defined so many ways… through its people, through its ideals, through its politics, how others view us. Here in this series we are defining America through forgotten or in some case not-so-forgotten Films. These 12 films showcase the very best and sometimes the very worst of America. Light the sparklers and fire up the BBQ because we’re about to have some very interesting Podcasts.
If we are to talk about America, we must speak of sports. A League of their Own is hands down top four baseball movie ever made. There’s the two Costner starring ones: Bull Durham and Field of Dreams.** Then there’s John Sayles’ perfect Eight Men Out. Finally, Penny Marshall’s A League of their Own. Now which order they go in? Well, that’s not being discussed here but… I will say that Marshall’s film may be higher than one would expect. At the height of WWII with most, if not all, Baseball Stars off to war Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall) decides with his very smart business manager Ira Lowenstien (David Strathairn) open the AAGPBL aka All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. What starts off as whimsy of an eccentric millionaire proves to be more than such as everyone in the League has more. More respect, more coaching, more winning, and something of their own as the title suggests. An all-star lineup roster headed by Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and a who’s who of 90’s comedic and dramatic talent the film proves to be not just one of the best sports films of the 1990’s but one of the best comedies of the decade.
**Note: we know that there are three Costner baseball films. We just left out Raimi’s For the Love of the Game because it’s not Top Four material. Maybe Top Twenty-Five material when we’re speaking of Baseball films.
Year Released: 1992
Director(s): Penny Marshall
Writer(s): Kelly Cnadaele, Kim Wilson, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Cast: Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, John Lovitz, David Strathairn, Anne Ramsay, Meghan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram, Renee Coleman, Anne Cusack, Freddie Simpson, Garry Marshall, Bill Pullman, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni, Eddie Jones