Cobb

Overview

What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb Tommy Lee Jones, and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump Robert Wuhl. Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist who abuses his ...
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Overview

What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb Tommy Lee Jones, and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump Robert Wuhl. Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist who abuses his biographer as well as everyone else. Stump must either candycoat his subject's life or present an accurate picture of a disgusting man who happened to become an American sports hero. The movie's biting focus on Cobb, ferociously performed by Jones, is not matched by its weaker representation of Stump, an imbalance which ultimately weakens the film's overall effect.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Ron Shelton could not have painted an uglier portrait if he'd made a movie about Adolf Hitler. But with one of the most notorious personalities of the 20th century as his subject, it doesn't even feel like caricature. Cobb is a triumph of original thinking in many respects: a baseball movie with very little baseball in it; a biopic that focuses on the last year of its subject's life, sparing the viewer his "greatest hits," both literally and figuratively; and a career-best performance from a small-time actor (Robert Wuhl) who holds his own alongside Tommy Lee Jones at his blistering best. The dynamic Shelton explores between the legendary ballplayer and Al Stump, his harried biographer, is thoroughly engrossing, eliminating the need to rely on re-created old-time footage that might have served as a crutch. Several scenes perfectly capture the reckless, spiteful essence of the man, including a trip around the bases in which he spikes no less than three fielders, and one in which he drives down a mountain at 60 miles per hour in a blizzard. Counterbalancing this, however, is the gracious treatment given Cobb wherever he goes, which demonstrates the empty flattery accorded celebrities by starstruck fans who don't really understand who they are. Shelton's adaptation of Stump's book makes Cobb and his biographer more similar than either would like to admit: each exploits the other for his own self-aggrandizing purposes, even if Stump's are sanctioned under the guise of journalism and the slippery quest for "truth."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/2/1997
  • UPC: 085391336532
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tommy Lee Jones Ty Cobb
Robert Wuhl Al Stump
Lolita Davidovich Ramona
Lou Myers Willie
Stephen Mendillo Mickey Cochrane
William Utay Jameson
J. Kenneth Campbell Prof. Cobb
Rhoda Griffis Ty's Mother
Allan Malamud Mud
Ned Bellamy Ray
Steven Brown Husband at Motel
Jimmy Buffett The armless guy
Scott Burkholder Jimmy
Artie Butler Harrah's Bartender
Bill Caplan Bill
Eloy Casados Louis Prima
Michael Chieffo Young Doctor
Reid Cruickshanks Pie Traynor
Ernie Harwell Hall of Fame MC
Dana Hill Wife at Motel
Don Hood Older Doctor
Fred Lewis Philly Fan
Jeanne McCarthy Nurse
Michael H. Moss Lover
George Rafferty Teammate
Reynaldo Rey
Clive Rosengren Hall of Fame Director
Bradley Whitford Process Server
George Wilbur Casino Security Man
Bill Wittman Newsreel Narrator
Grace Zabriskie
Technical Credits
Ron Shelton Director, Screenwriter
John Blake Makeup
Claire Jenora Bowin Set Decoration/Design
Russell Boyd Cinematographer
Charles Butcher Art Director
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Kirk A. Francis Sound/Sound Designer
Jim Fredburg Special Effects
Armin Ganz Production Designer
Elliot Goldenthal Score Composer
David Lester Producer
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Ve Neill Makeup
Kimberly Ray Editor
Scott Ritenour Production Designer
Paul Seydor Editor
Troy Sizemore Art Director
Victoria Thomas Casting
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