Angels in the Outfield (1994 film)

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Angels in the Outfield
Angels in the outfield.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Dear
Produced by Irby Smith
Joe Roth
Roger Birnbaum
Screenplay by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Based on Angels in the Outfield 
by Dorothy Kingsley
George Wells
Starring Danny Glover
Tony Danza
Brenda Fricker
Ben Johnson
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Jay O. Sanders
Christopher Lloyd
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti
Edited by Bruce Green
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • July 15, 1994 (1994-07-15)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $50,236,831

Angels in the Outfield (known simply as Angels in some countries) is a 1994 remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The film stars Danny Glover, Tony Danza and Christopher Lloyd (the two latter actors have previously worked together on Taxi), and features appearances from future stars, including Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Neal McDonough.

Unlike the original, which focused on the Pittsburgh Pirates as the team in heavenly need, the 1994 remake focuses on the California Angels, who did not exist when the original film was released in 1951. The Walt Disney Company, which distributed it, was a minority owner of the Angels at the time. The film does, however, make a connection to the Pirates by having its world premiere at their home stadium at the time, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.[1][2] It spawned two direct-to-video sequels, Angels in the Endzone and Angels in the Infield, neither as successful as the original.

Plot

Young foster child Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his friend J.P. (Milton Davis, Jr.) love to sneak into baseball games of the hopelessly dreadful California Angels.

Still in limited contact with his widower father, Roger asks when they will be a family again. His father replies sarcastically, "I'd say when the Angels win the pennant." Taking his father's words literally, Roger prays for God to help the Angels win. After he prays, a star, unseen by Roger, twinkles in the sky.

Then, in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays which Roger and J.P. attend, he sees a group of angels led by Al (Christopher Lloyd) helping the team. Although Roger can see them quite clearly, everyone else can only explain the seemingly impossible acts as freak occurrences.

Roger's unique ability to see which players are receiving help from angels leads their skeptical manager, George Knox (Danny Glover) to keep him around as a good luck charm and consultant. Due to the much needed help, the Angels start to win games and make a surprising second-half surge to the top of their division. However, Roger's father permanently gives up custody of his son instead.

As Roger laments his loss, J.P. accidentally reveals to antagonistic sports broadcaster Ranch Wilder (Jay O. Sanders) that Roger has the ability to see angels, and that George has been winning through the advice Roger's given him. Ranch, hoping to destroy George informs the press of this and their owner Hank Murphy (Ben Johnson) threatens to dismiss George for this seemingly absurd notion that angels are helping the team. Roger comes clean to his caretaker Maggie Nelson (Brenda Fricker) about his special ability and at a press conference they and the entire team defend George in front of the press. Moved by their faith, Murphy allows George to remain as manager of the Angels.

On the championship game none of the angels show up to help the team. Later on, Al explains that championships must be played without help from them and that he was just checking pitcher Mel Clark (Tony Danza) who will be one of them soon as he has been a chain smoker. Throughout the game he has been in, but is getting tired after throwing 159 pitches. When George goes in, everyone thinks he's going in to take him out, but instead, he gives him some motivation, with help from Roger, the team, and finally, the entire audience as well as Murphy and the broadcasters (minus Ranch).

The Angels ultimately win the final game of the regular season without the help of the angels and clinch the division pennant over the rival Chicago White Sox, thanks to Mel. Murphy fires Ranch due to his snide remarks over the team. The film ends with George adopting both Roger and J.P. as he wants to try be a father. J.P. sees Al at the window and says "I knew it could happen." Al circles around the house and says "We're always watching" and flying off into the stars, which re-enact a baseball game.

Cast

Reception

The film earned mixed reviews from critics, maintaining a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Box office

The film opened at #4 at the North American box office making $8,916,463 USD in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $50.2 million at the box office domestically.

References

External links