A League of Their Own
|A League of Their Own|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Penny Marshall|
|Produced by||Elliot Abbott
|Screenplay by||Lowell Ganz
|Story by||Kim Wilson
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Editing by||George Bowers|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||128 minutes|
A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna. The screenplay was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele.
In 2012, A League of Their Own was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
In 1992, an elderly, widowed Dottie Hinson reluctantly attends the opening of the new All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. She sees many of her former teammates and friends, prompting a flashback to 1943.
When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, candy magnate and Chicago Cubs owner Walter Harvey creates a women's league to make money. Ira Lowenstein is put in charge and Ernie Capadino is sent out to recruit players.
Capadino goes to an industrial-league softball game in rural Oregon and likes what he sees in the catcher, Dottie. She is a terrific hitter and very attractive. He offers her a tryout, but she is content working in a dairy and on the family farm while her husband, Bob, fights in the war. He is less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller, who is desperate to go. He lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to change her mind. He also checks out Marla Hooch, a great switch-hitting slugger in Fort Collins, Colorado. Because Marla is unattractive, he rejects her, but relents when Dottie and Kit refuse to go on without her and her father makes an impassioned plea.
When the trio arrive at the tryouts in Chicago, they meet taxi dancer "All the Way" Mae Mordabito and her best friend, Doris Murphy, both tough-talking New Yorkers; soft-spoken right fielder Evelyn Gardner; illiterate and shy left fielder Shirley Baker; and pitcher and former Miss Georgia Ellen Sue Gotlander. They and eight others are selected to form the Rockford Peaches, while 48 others are split among the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets and South Bend Blue Sox.
The Peaches are managed by Jimmy Dugan, a former marquee Cubs slugger who lost his career due to alcohol. Drunk and self-pitying, he neglects managerial chores. Dottie acts as captain-manager until Jimmy wakes from his stupor and begins to give and earn her respect, the teams, and his own.
The league attracts little interest at first. Lowenstein tells the Peaches that the owners are having second thoughts. With a Life magazine photographer attending a game, Lowenstein begs them to do something spectacular. Dottie obliges when a ball is popped up behind home plate, catching it while doing a split. The resulting photograph makes the cover of the magazine. A publicity campaign draws more people to the ballgames, but the owners remain unconvinced.
As the Peaches establish themselves as the class of the league, the sibling rivalry between sisters Dottie and Kit intensifies: Kit resents being overshadowed by Dottie. Things come to a head when Jimmy pulls Kit for a relief pitcher on Dottie's advice. After a heated argument between Dottie and Kit, Dottie tells Lowenstein she is thinking about quitting. Horrified at the prospect of losing his star, Lowenstein promises to arrange a trade and sends Kit to Racine, much to her dismay. She blames Dottie for the trade and has another argument with her before departing.
Prior to a game, the Peaches' utility player, Betty "Spaghetti" Horn, is informed that her husband has been killed in action in the Pacific Theatre; the same evening, Dottie's husband Bob appears, having been honorably discharged after being wounded in Italy. The following morning, Jimmy discovers that Dottie is returning to Oregon with Bob. He tells her she will regret her decision.
The team continues without Dottie, and makes it to the World Series against Kit's Racine Belles. The Belles initially take a 3-1 lead in the series before the Peaches win twice in a row to force a deciding seventh game. Dottie unexpectedly rejoins the team for the game. Racine leads 1-0 going into the ninth inning when Dottie hits Kit's pitch over her head, driving in two runs. Kit comes up to bat with her team trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two out. Dottie tells Ellen Sue about Kit's weakness for chasing high fastballs. After swinging at and missing the first two pitches, Kit hits a line drive into left-center field and rounds the bases, ignoring a stop signal from the third base coach. Dottie fields the throw to the plate, but Kit slams into her, knocking the ball out of her hand to score the winning run. The sellout crowd convinces Harvey to give Lowenstein the owners' support. After the game, the sisters reconcile before Dottie leaves to raise a family.
In the present day, Mae and Doris spot Dottie and confirm her identity with a throw that she catches barehanded as on her first arrival at the 1943 tryouts. She is reunited with several other players, including Kit, whom she hasn't seen in several years. The fates of several of the characters are revealed: Jimmy, Bob and Evelyn have died, while Marla has been married to Nelson, one of the team's groupies, for over 40 years. The Peaches sing their team song composed by one of them and pose for a group photo.
- Tom Hanks - Jimmy Dugan (manager)
- Geena Davis - Dottie Hinson (#8, catcher)
- Lori Petty - Kit Keller (#23, pitcher)
- Anne Ramsay - Helen Haley (#15, first base)
- Megan Cavanagh - Marla Hooch (#32, second base)
- Rosie O'Donnell - Doris Murphy (#22, third base)
- Freddie Simpson - Ellen Sue Gotlander (#1, shortstop/pitcher)
- Tracy Reiner - Betty "Spaghetti" Horn (#7, left field/relief pitcher)
- Madonna - "All the Way" Mae Mordabito (#5, center field)
- Bitty Schram - Evelyn Gardner (#17, right field)
- Renée Coleman (credited as Renee Coleman) - Alice "Skeeter" Gaspers (#18, left field/center field/catcher)
- Ann Cusack - Shirley Baker (#11, left field)
- Robin Knight - "Beans" Babbitt (shortstop)
- Patti Pelton - Marbleann Wilkinson (second base)
- Kelli Simpkins - Beverly Dixon (#4, outfield)
- Connie Pounds-Taylor - Connie Calhoun (Outfield)
On MLB Network’s "Costas at the Movies" in 2013, director Penny Marshall talked about her initial interest in Demi Moore for the part of Dottie Hinson, saying "Demi Moore, I liked, but by the time we came around, she was pregnant. So Bruce [Willis] literally screwed her out of the part."
- Jon Lovitz - Ernie Capadino, AAGPBL scout
- David Strathairn - Ira Lowenstein, AAGPBL general manager
- Garry Marshall - Walter Harvey, candy bar mogul and AAGPBL founder
- Julie Croteau - Helen Haley (baseball double for Anne Ramsay)
- Bill Pullman - Bob Hinson, Dottie's husband
- Janet Jones - Racine pitcher
- Téa Leoni - Racine first base
- Don S. Davis - Charlie Collins, Racine coach
- Eddie Jones - Dave Hooch, Marla's father
- Justin Scheller - Stillwell Gardner, Evelyn's obnoxious young son
- Mark Holton - Adult Stillwell Gardner. He attends the Peaches' reunion at the Baseball Hall of Fame on behalf of his mother who had died.
- Pauline Brailsford - Miss Cuthburt, Rockford chaperone
- Laurel Cronin - Maida Gillespie
- Alan Wilder - Nelson
Production and reception
Discussing the skirts they wore playing baseball in the film, Geena Davis said on MLB Network’s "Costas at the Movies" in 2013, "Some of our real cast, from sliding into home, had ripped the skin off their legs. It was nutty."
The film was released on July 1, 1992, and was #1 by its second weekend (July 10–12). It was a commercial success, making $107 million in the United States (and an additional $25 million worldwide) on a $40 million budget, and was well received by critics.
With 2012 marking the 20th year since the film's release, A League of Their Own was released as a 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray on October 16.
Forty-seven former players of the AAGPBL reunited in New York to celebrate the film and the real women who inspired it. Events included a trip to Cooperstown for a special program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, reminiscent of the film's final scene depicting members of the AAGPBL and family coming together to witness the honoring of the Women's Professional Baseball League. The reunion wrapped up with a game of softball held at Syracuse's Alliance Bank Stadium.
Former players also made an appearance at Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana on June 6, 2012, where many of the film's game scenes were filmed. The event included an outdoor screening of the film as well as a scene-setting display of cars featured in the film.
- "A League of Their Own (1992)". Box Office Mojo. September 29, 1992. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- King, Susan. "National Film Registry selects 25 films for preservation " Los Angeles Times (December 19, 2012)
- Penny Marshall, Costas at the Movies, MLB Network, January 28, 2013
- "A League of Their Own (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Kronke, David (July 2, 1992). "Penny Marshall pitches 'League of Their Own' agenda". The Dispatch (Lexington, NC). Los Angeles Daily News. p. 4C. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- White, Sue (October 26, 2011). "'A League of Their Own' brings former ballplayer to the Riverside Saginaw Film Festival". MLive. MLive Media Group. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Sidewater, Nancy (April 23, 2004). "DVD Q&A - Penny Marshall". Entertainment Weekly (Entertainment Weekly Inc.) (761). Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "A League of Their Own". Forth-Worth Star-Telegram. June 30, 1992.(subscription required)
- Rachlin, Jill (February 12, 1993). "A League of Their Own Review | Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly (Entertainment Weekly, Inc.) (157). Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes". AFI.com. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- ""A League of Their Own" (1993)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Kekis, John (September 23, 2013). "Women Remain in League of Their Own". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- Prell, Jon (June 12, 2012). "A League Of Their Own Comes Home To Bosse Field On June 22". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's added to film archive". BBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
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- ESPN.com - Page 2 - Reel Life: 'A League of Their Own'
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