Posts Tagged ‘Bang the Drum Slowly’

Baseball Flicks

December 28, 2009

For some reason that escapes me, football and basketball don’t make particularly good movies. There is the rare exception, but as a rule they’re pretty lousy. Baseball and boxing on the other hand make good flicks. Boxing is easy to understand because of the nature of one-on-one violence. Baseball’s a little harder to figure. I guess it has to do with the pace of the game which allows for more time to develop rhythm (and in the case of movies, plot). These are my favorite baseball movies.

5. The Natural: OK, I know it doesn’t end the way the book ends (I read the book years ago), but it’s still fun and the acting is pretty good, especially Glenn Close and Darren McGavin.

4. Bull Durham: I think it’s the most overrated baseball movie ever. It frequently comes in first on these kind of lists, and I think that’s way too high. Having said that, it’s still a good flick with Robbins, Costner, and Sarandon doing a good job.

3. Bang the Drum Slowly: One of DeNiro’s best. Good plot, great acting. DeNiro is young and still building his resume, but you can see the potential.

2. Pride of the Yankees: Oldest flick on this list. Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig is great, Teresa Wright as Mrs. G. is wonderful. You know how it’s going to end and you watch anyway. BTW Babe Ruth has a couple of lines.

1. Field of Dreams: Well, it’s not exactly a “baseball” movie, but the sport is used to fuel the plot. Costner does a decent job, Amy Madigan as the wife is wonderful and James Earl Jones is impressive (how did he not receive an Academy Award nomination that year?). Watch for the “Peace, Love, Dope” scene, the speech about the importance of baseball, and the “Dad, wanna have a catch” scene. If you ain’t crying at that last scene, you got no soul.

Honorable mention: The Rookie–it’s very new, so I’d like to give it time to age. The scenes of Morris is the minors are wonderful and everybody knows the scene with the speed indicator. BTW love the music inserted in the movie.