Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Mickey Evans|
|Produced by||Mark Burg
|Written by||David Mickey Evans
|Music by||David Newman|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Edited by||Michael A. Stevenson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy directed by David M. Evans, which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer of 1962. The filming location was in Glendale, Salt Lake City, Utah. The film was released with the title The Sandlot Kids in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The film, which is set in suburban Los Angeles, unfolds in the summer of 1962. Seeking desperately to fit in, Scotty Smalls is the new kid in the neighborhood. He would be welcomed on the local eight player baseball team that practices every day. Smalls however, is incapable of playing baseball; on his first visit to the sandlot he finds himself in the outfield with a fly ball descending toward him which bounces off his glove, causing the other boys except "Benny the Jet" Rodriguez, the team's leader, to burst out laughing. Smalls, humiliated after weakly throwing the ball back, leaves.
Smalls asks his baseball memorabilia-collecting stepfather, Bill, to teach him to play, and while he agrees, Smalls cannot successfully catch or throw the ball; furthermore, his eye gets bruised when he caught the ball with the glove too close to his eye. Benny takes Smalls under his wing, much to the dismay of the other 7, because they don't think he should be on the team. However, Benny soon teaches him what he needs to know, and with Benny's support, he gets a place on the team and some respect from the other kids, who come to accept Smalls as their new teammate. Smalls and his new friends go on a bunch of misadventures ranging from a day at the pool (which ultimately ends with them being permanently banned from the pool when one of the boys named Squints kissed the beautiful lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn after pretending to drown) to outscoring a snooty rival baseball team.
Meanwhile, behind a wall at the end of the sandlot is a backyard inhabited by "the Beast", an English Mastiff, a dog so large and savage that it has become a neighborhood legend. One day, the boys' last ball is torn apart after being hit by Benny; the other boys see this as "an omen." Smalls saves the day by "borrowing" an autographed ball from his stepfather's office, but it ends up in the backyard with the Beast. Smalls learns the ball was special: it was signed by Babe Ruth himself, who he is unfamiliar with and originally thought was a woman. He and this teammates unsuccessfully attempt to recover the ball numerous times using different and creative methods, which all end in disaster.
After Benny has a dream about an encounter with Babe Ruth who guides him on how to retrieve the ball, Benny recovers it the next day and a chase with the dog across town ensues. When they make it back to the Sandlot, the fence falls on the dog. Smalls and Benny help it up and discover the dog is in fact friendly (especially after licking Smalls in gratitude and showing the boys numerous baseballs that were hit into the backyard over the years) and they learn the real story behind the Beast's blind owner, Mr. Mertle. Smalls and Benny discover that Mr. Mertle was a former baseball player himself and actually played against Babe Ruth's team. Smalls later confesses to Bill what he did and is grounded for a week, but manages to make it up by giving him the Murderer's Row ball Mr. Mertle gave him, leaving Bill impressed.
The sandlot boys enjoy the rest of the summer and the next few years. Over the next three decades, the boys grow up and go into different careers:
- Yeah-Yeah's parents ship him off to military school, and then becomes a developer of bungee jumping
- Bertram gets really into the '60's and was never seen again
- Timmy and Tommy Timmons become an architect and a contractor who developed tree houses and later invented mini-malls
- Squints is married to Wendy Peffercorn, has nine kids with her, and later buys Vincent's Drugstore
- Hamilton Porter becomes a professional wrestler known as "The Great Hambino"
- DeNunez plays Triple-A ball, but now coaches a little league team called "The Heaters"
However, Benny and Smalls still remain close, as Benny becomes a famous Major League Baseball player while Smalls becomes a sports reporter, covering the Los Angeles Dodgers. The film is brought to the present, and ends with Benny stealing home plate and winning the game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He then flashes a thumbs-up to Smalls, just like he did when teaching him how to catch, and Smalls then gives him a thumbs-up back. The scene ends with a picture of all the sandlot kids that is hanging in the sports reporter's room (next to the mangled-up Babe Ruth ball and the decoy Babe Ruth ball they originally made up to replace the former).
- Tom Guiry as Scott "Scotty" Smalls
- Mike Vitar as Benjamin Franklin "Benny The Jet" Rodriguez
- Patrick Renna as Hamilton "Ham" Porter
- Chauncey Leopardi as Michael "Squints" Palledorous
- Marty York as Alan "Yeah-Yeah" McClennan
- Brandon Quintin Adams as Kenny DeNunez
- Grant Gelt as Bertram Grover Weeks
- Shane Obedzinski as Tommy "Repeat" Timmons
- Victor DiMattia as Timmy Timmons
- Arliss Howard as Scott Smalls (as an adult) (Uncredited)
- Pablo Vitar as Benny Rodriguez (as an adult)
- Denis Leary as Bill, Scotty's stepfather
- Karen Allen as Scotty's mom
- James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle, owner of "The Beast".
- Marley Shelton as Wendy Peffercorn
- Art LaFleur as Babe Ruth
- Wil Horneff as Philips
The Sandlot has received mixed reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 57% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 44 reviews. The site's consensus says "It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure." Critic Roger Ebert gave the film three stars, comparing the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, based on the tone and narration of both films. He said of one scene, "There was a moment in the film when Rodriguez hit a line drive directly at the pitcher's mound, and I ducked and held up my mitt, and then I realized I didn't have a mitt, and it was then I also realized how completely this movie had seduced me with its memories of what really matters when you are 12." Bob Cannon of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, praising its simplicity and strong fundamentals.
Leonard Klady of Variety gave the film a mostly negative review. He praised the cinematography and score, but felt the baseball team did not come together, and that the film, while sincere, was "remarkably shallow wade, rife with incident and slim on substance."
The film grossed $4 million in its opening weekend and a further $32 million through ticket sales. Figures for worldwide, VHS and DVD sales are estimated to be at $76 million. Since its release on both VHS and DVD, the film has become a cult favorite.
In 1998, Michael Polydoros sued 20th Century Fox and the producers of the film for defamation. Polydoros, a childhood classmate of David Mickey Evans, the author and director of The Sandlot, claimed that the character Michael "Squints" Palledorous was derogatory and caused him shame and humiliation. The case reached the Supreme Court of California, which ruled in favor of 20th Century Fox.
In 1993, The Sandlot first came to video in a slipcase, but later came in a clamshell case in 1994. On January 29, 2002, the DVD came in a Family Feature, in widescreen (Side B) and full screen (Side A). The 2013 repackaged DVD is only in widescreen.
- The Sandlot 2 (2005) – A direct-to-video sequel in which a new Sandlot gang is featured. The only returning cast member is James Earl Jones in his role of Mr. Mertle.
- The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007) – Another direct-to-video sequel starring Luke Perry as Tommy "Santa" Santorelli who gets knocked back to 1976 from 2007 and relives his childhood. Chauncey Leopardi reprises his role as Squints.
The film's original score was composed by David Newman, and was unreleased until 2006, when a limited edition was released as part of the Varèse Sarabande CD Club.
Songs in order of appearance:
- "Finger Poppin' Time" – Hank Ballard and the Midnighters
- "Smokie Part II" – Bill Black's Combo
- "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" – The Tokens
- "There Goes My Baby" – The Drifters
- "This Magic Moment" – The Drifters
- "America The Beautiful" – Ray Charles
- "Green Onions" – Booker T & The MG's
- "Tequila" – The Champs
- "Wipe Out" – The Surfaris
- "The Sandlot". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- "The Sandlot Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (April 7, 1993). "The Sandlot (1993)". Chicago Sun-Times. rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Cannon, Bob (April 23, 1993). "The Sandlot (1993)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Klady, Leonard (April 4, 1993). "The Sandlot Review". Variety. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Chiang, Harriet (October 16, 1998). "Films Can Use Real Names, Likenesses, State High Court Rules". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Sandlot|
- The Sandlot at the Internet Movie Database
- The Sandlot at AllMovie
- The Sandlot at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Sandlot at Box Office Mojo