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Based on a true story, A League of Their Own tells the story of the first female baseball league, which was started when many of the professional male baseball players were away fighting in World War II.  Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Duggan, a washed-up, alcoholic former professional player, who is given the job – which he doesn’t really want – of managing the Rockford Peaches team.  Geena Davis and Lori Petty play sisters Dottie and Kit, who have issues with jealousy, and who are both signed on to play for the team.  Other players on the league are portrayed by Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Bitty Schram, and others.  The story shows the league’s progress, from a game of little interest to outsiders, to a popular sport in its own right.

I really enjoyed this film.  All of the actors were perfect, especially Davis, Petty and Hanks.  There was a lot of comedy in the film, but it was also very moving in parts, and I actually did cry.  Baseball gave these women – and Jimmy Duggan – something to live for, and a sense of self-belief, which some of them desperately needed.  It also gave them a sense of camaraderie at a time when many of them had loved ones fighting overseas.  I loved how Jimmy was initially resentful of managing a girls team, but how he came to appreciate their talent, and want to fight their corner with them – his personal story was one of redemption, and I loved the character.

There are lots of baseball scenes in this film, but you do not need to like, or even really understand, the sport to enjoy it (although a basic knowledge of the game might help).

I waited a long time to watch the movie, because I was not sure that I would like it.  However, it gets a definite 10 out of 10 from me, and I do not intend to leave it that long before watching again.  Very highly recommended.

Year of release: 1992

Director: Penny Marshall

Producers: Penny Marshall, Elliot Abbot, Robert Greenhut, Ronnie D. Clemmer, Joseph Hartwick, Bill Pace, Amy Lemisch

Writers: Kim Wilson, Kelly Candaele, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel

Main cast: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, David Strathairn, Megan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram

 

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Also known as ‘Hero’, this film from 1992 did not do very well at the box office, despite the cast being headed up by Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia.  Still, it’s a lovely movie and if you get a chance to see it, I would definitely suggest that you do so.

Dustin Hoffman is Bernie LaPlante, a small-time crook, who saves the passengers of plane which has crashed.  However, when a monetary reward is offered for the ‘Angel of Flight 104’, homeless drifter Andy Garcia steps up to take the credit…

This is a thoroughly enjoyable film from start to finish.  It’s funny, yet very touching in places.  Dustin Hoffman once again proves his immeasurable talent as LaPlante, a character who in the hands of a lesser actor, could be completely unlikeable.  Hoffman however, manages to make the audience like LaPlante, despite his selfishness and despite his criminal tendencies.  Andy Garcia also shines as John Bubber, who it’s impossible not to feel warmth towards, even when he is taking credit that he knows he does not deserve.  Geena Davis rounds out the main cast, as a newsreader who is searching for story with meaning, that doesn’t revolve around gossip, and when she survives Flight 104, she thinks she might have found that story.

All in all then, this is a great comedy drama, with a real message at the heart of it’s story.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

Year of release: 1992

Director: Stephen Frears

Producers: Joseph M. Caracciolo, Laura Ziskin, Sandy Isaac

Writers: Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples

Main cast: Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, Geena Davis, Chevy Chase, Joan Cusack

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