61*

( 11 )

Overview

Billy Crystal's loving tribute to the record-breaking Yankee season of 1961 comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround, while a Spanish soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include biographies of the cast and crew, as well as Maris and Mantle, a ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo)
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Overview

Billy Crystal's loving tribute to the record-breaking Yankee season of 1961 comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround, while a Spanish soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include biographies of the cast and crew, as well as Maris and Mantle, a making-of featurette, the original trailer, and a breakdown of the home runs hit by Maris and Mantle during that historical summer. Film and baseball enthusiasts should both find much to enjoy on this DVD release of 61*.
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Special Features

Audio commentary by director Billy Crystal; The Making of 61*; player bios and stats; 1961Home Run list; original trailer; cast and director bios; DVD-rom links to mlb.com.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
Billy Crystal, among Hollywood's most passionate sports fans, steps up to bat as director of 61*, the HBO film chronicling the most famous home run chase in baseball history and the two men at its center, outfielders Roger Maris Barry Pepper and Mickey Mantle Thomas Jane. A newcomer to the already legendary New York Yankees, Maris finds himself lost amid the team's glitz and eclipsed by the shadow of fan favorite Mantle. He also finds himself on a slugging streak, and soon Maris and Mantle are in a neck-and-neck race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record 60. The media attempts to spin the two athletes as bitter rivals, but as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa would show several decades later, it doesn't necessarily work that way. Maris tries to help the Mick overcome his alcoholism and womanizing, while Mantle tries in vain to teach his teammate the nuances necessary to becoming a media darling. Pepper and Jane -- who truly, uncannily look their parts -- turn this simple story of breaking records into a hard-hitting tale of competition and camaraderie. Sumptuously shot by renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler, 61* revisits a moment that baseball fans old and new are not likely to forget. The rest, as they say, is history.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Billy Crystal's 61* stands alongside Bang the Drum Slowly and Bull Durham as one of the few films that understands the day-to-day life of baseball players. The fully realized performances by Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane make this film compelling for people with no interest in baseball. They, along with screenwriter Hank Steinberg, do a marvelous job of presenting two very complex, very male personalities. Maris is an outwardly stoic average guy who approaches the game with unsmiling intensity; baseball is a job to him. This does not make him a popular man with the press or the fans, particularly when compared to the loudmouthed party boy Mickey Mantle. In their private lives, Maris is a happy, down-to-earth husband and father with a quick smile for his family, while Mantle is miserable. Assuming he will die young because his father and uncles did, Mickey lives hard and fast. His destructive behavior fuels a self-fulfilling prophecy. The two opposites bring out the best in each other, both on and off the field. Maris forces Mantle to take better care of himself, and Mantle becomes the only person Maris can turn to when the pressure of chasing Babe Ruth's record begins to damage his health, friendships, and marriage. Pepper invests Maris with a quiet dignity and a Midwestern attitude that makes him neither a foolish innocent, nor a scowling kill-joy (two stereotypes the character could have easily become). Jane makes Mantle charming and likable, but presents his inner pain in subtle, quietly powerful moments. Although the film loses narrative drive in its second half, the characters remain compelling throughout. Although it could have easily turned into a piece of mawkish sentimentality, 61*, thanks to strong writing, respectful direction, and outstanding performances, is an engaging character study with a firm sense of place and time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2001
  • UPC: 026359178221
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo
  • Language: English, Español
  • Time: 2:09:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,371

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barry Pepper Roger Maris
Thomas Jane Mickey Mantle
Anthony Michael Hall Whitey Ford
Richard Masur Milt Kahn
Bruce McGill Houk, Ralph
Christopher McDonald Mel Allen
Jennifer Foley Pat Maris (1961)
Renée Taylor Claire Ruth
Bob Gunton Dan Topping
Donald Moffat Ford Frick
Christopher Bauer Bob Cerv
Pat Crowley Pat Maris ('98)
Joe Grifasi Phil Rizzuto
Paul Borghese Yogi Berra
Bobby Hosea Elston Howard
Peter Jacobson Artie Green
Seymour Cassel Sam Simon
Robert Joy
Michael Nouri
Domenick Lombardozzi
Rebecca Klinger
Robert Costanzo
Christopher Marquette
Conor O'Farrell
Jimmy Intveld
Connor Trinneer Writer #2
Technical Credits
Billy Crystal Director, Executive Producer
Robert F. Colesberry Producer
Mali Finn Casting
Ross Greenburg Executive Producer
Michael Jablow Editor
Marc Shaiman Score Composer
Rusty Smith Production Designer
Hank Steinberg Screenwriter
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Main Title/Rendezvous with History [4:16]
2. Opening Day 1961 [6:27]
3. Most V* Player [3:34]
4. Mr. & Mrs. Maris [1:56]
5. "I Love Mickey" [2:19]
6. Whatever's Best for the Team [3:47]
7. On the Town [3:29]
8. Saving Mickey [3:48]
9. From the St. Moritz to Queens [5:08]
10. The M & M Boys [5:07]
11. 61* [5:40]
12. Dogs Gone Wild [2:58]
13. Home Run for Randy Maris [1:11]
14. "This is my home!" [6:06]
15. "Are the boys really rooting for Mickey?" [3:11]
16. "X*" [4:10]
17. The Underdog [5:51]
18. Fighting the Demons [6:35]
19. "Am I really the bad guy?" [3:01]
20. "Happy Birthday, Raj!" [1:46]
21. Fallout [4:05]
22. "You go get that fat fuck!" [3:31]
23. Nobody Knows Me [:42]
24. Bigger than the Game [4:30]
25. Game 154 [2:06]
26. "I couldn't do it" [10:22]
27. Maris Ties the Babe [2:08]
28. Last Games, Last Chance [3:30]
29. "You're a good man, Raj" [4:40]
30. 62 (period) [3:31]
31. Coda/End Credits [1:39]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary By Billy Crystal
      The Greatest Summer Of My Life: Billy Crystal And The Making Of 61* [featurette]
      Theatrical Trailer
      Cast And Director Bios
         Director Bio
         Cast Bios
            Barry Pepper
            Thomas Jane
      Mickey Mantle Biography & Stats
         Hitting Stats
         Fielding Stats
      Roger Maris Biography & Stats
         Hitting Stats
         Fielding Stats
      1961 Home Run List
      Dvd-Rom Weblinks
   Languages
   Subtitles
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beyond 61 are the best bonus features ever!

    This is an amazing baseball movie. Directed by Billy Crystal, huge Yankee fan, the love of the game comes through. The bonus feature movie on "The Making of *61" is almost better than the movie. This is the number one baseball movie in my collection! Buy it don't rent it. You will want to own it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Baseball Movie/Great Movie

    So many sports movies are made to manipulate the viewer into cheering at the climax, as if the audience was a spectator in a stadium. This extraordinary movie prompts a lump in the throat and leaves your eyes stinging with the realization of what these people have been through and all that they have accomplished. Somehow, Billy Crystal has constructed a movie that appeals to the head as well as the heart, a film that reveals his love of baseball without resorting to cliches or mawkish stereotypes. Barry Pepper's portrayal of Roger Maris obviously drives this movie and he excels at showing a good, quiet, solid man striving to accomplish a landmark achievement while dealing with brutal pressure. What makes this film work for me is Thomas Jane's remarkable rendition of Mickey Mantle. Mantle is not played as an icon here. He is seen as a complete human being, with an affection for booze and women as well as a capacity for loyalty and understanding. This three-dimensional characterization is due in equal parts to Jane's acting and a script that allows Mickey Mantle to presented as an earthy, complicated individual rather than a mere cardboard cutout of a professional athlete. This relationship between Maris and Mantle is told against the backdrop of an amazing menagerie of Sixties popular culture. Crystal has truly captured 1961. The efforts to recreate Yankee Stadium before it was refurbished and the cinematography are fantastic. The supporting cast is remarkable, from Maris' wife to the Yankee teammates, from a wide range of sports writers serving as a Greek chorus to the widow of Babe Ruth rooting for Roger to fail. It all comes together perfectly. When I first saw this movie, I was a little chagrined to see the references to Mark McGuire's quest to break Maris' record. As I watched though, I understood what Crystal was doing. McGuire was treated as a hero as he reached for the record. Maris was treated as some sort of traitor for challenging Babe Ruth. The difference in the circumstances under which McGuire and Maris fought to establish themselves is dramatic, and it lends even more weight to what Roger Maris was able to accomplish. This movie captures that perfectly. If you love baseball, this film is the best representation of what goes on, both on and off the field, I have seen. Even if you don't care about baseball, this movie captures the complexity of human beings interacting under remarkable circumstances.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Maris he had the heart

    I loved this movie. I was inspired. It made me think of the impact we as fans can possibly have on the players. And that just because they are not press friendly doesnt giveus the right to turn our backs on them. The movie was well acted. Loved the way the characters evolved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Baseball Movie Ever

    61* has got to be one of the best baseball movie I've ever seen. It has great history of America's best pastime, and entertaining from beggining to end. You have to see this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    61*

    I'm female, and had never cared for baseball until I saw this movie. The guy playing Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) was fascinating to watch. I have since seen pictures of Roger Maris and see the uncanny resemblence Barry Pepper has to Maris. I have seen this movie about 4 times, and each time I hear something or see something I haven't seen before. I also believe this movie is a valentine to Mickey Mantle. Yes, its about Roger Maris, but it is also a history lesson. Mickey was ''da man'', home run record or not. I don't know if Billy Crystal realizes it, but he made one magical movie about his long ago magical summer. I will never look at baseball the same way again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    61*

    You don't have to be a baseball fan to love this movie. I know, because I was never a big baseball fan and this movie captured my heart in a way few movies do. Since this is about the 1961 NY Yankee baseball season, and everyone knows Mark McGuire broke Roger Maris's record of single season home runs in 1998, I can't exactly give away the ending unless someone has been living in a cave for the past 40 years. This is the true story of the 1961 baseball season of the NY Yankees and the breaking of the Babe Ruth single season home run record. While it was not a rivalry between Mantle and Maris, the press trumped it up as one. Also, Mantle was the fan favorite, the ''real Yankee kind of guy.'' Maris had been with the Yankees for one year and did not have the magic way with the press or fans that Mantle did. Billy Crystal did a great job directing this film. Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper were perfect casting as Mantle and Maris. Jane especially fascinated me with his portrayal of Mickey Mantle. If he did not get an Emmy nomination, he was robbed. Crystal is paying tribute to Roger Maris, but this is also a big valentine to Mickey Mantle. Mickey was a great athlete. How much greater he could have been, if only he had taken better care of himself. I will never look at baseball or the NY Yankees the same way again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    61*

    This is a great movie whether you like baseball or not. I never cared for baseball, but I will never look at baseball or the NY Yankees the same way again. Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle was fascinating to watch. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    M & M Boys

    This story was amazing. It was so amazing I can't possibly imagine the words to say how good it is. If you're a baseball fan you can not live without it. If you're not a baseball fan you'll still love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews